Ethiopia is registering unprecedented economic growth and in the year 2009, it was in the top five of the fastest growing economies according to information obtained from CIA World Fact Book and the IMF. At the heart of the growth lies the import export trade and the maritime sector plays a great role in facilitating trade.
The shipping industry takes the big share of transportation of goods at sea and its importance to fastest growing economies such as Ethiopia cannot be more stressed. In addition to providing sea transportation, the shipping industry earns foreign currency for a country by way of employment. The regular salaries that seafarers earn and remit to their respective countries have a direct impact on the economic viability of their families in particular, and to the countries in general. Philippines is one example where citizens hired in foreign shipping companies as seafarers send back their salary and this remittance is more than 2 billion USD per year.
The various regulations, codes, conventions that seek higher standards from the global shipping industry mean that there is a lack of trained and competent seafarers in the industry. Ethiopia should seize this opportunity and provide well trained seafarers to the global shipping industry.
Ethiopian Shipping Lines Share Company (ESLSC has merged with two other state owned Enterprises to form the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise), the country’s flag career and with 47 years experience, has established a Maritime Training Institute at Babugaya, Bishoftu, which trains its own shipping personnel and others who would like to be hired in foreign shipping companies. The training is given as per the requirements of STCW95 (Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping as amended in 1995).
It is established on a vast plot of land overlooking the wonderful scenery of the beautiful Lake Babugaya and surrounding hills. The Institute provides training facilities for Ethiopian Nationals who are or will be engaged in the maritime sector.
The Institute also trains ESLSC's crew members under the rank of officer on different basic courses that allow them to carry out their duties according to rules set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Bishoftu Maritime Training Institute provides trainees the guidance and education they need to become skilled, proficient and safe mariners. It is also believed that the training being offered shall equip the trainees with solid foundation of knowledge necessary for their future career.
The Training Courses
The following short term courses are offered by the Institute.
Personal Safety and Social Responsibility – PSSR
Personal Survival Techniques – PST
Elementary First Aid – EFA
Basic Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting – FPFF
Deck Ratings Watch Keeping Course – DRWKC
Engine Ratings Watch Keeping Course – ERWKC
Basic Seamanship – BS
Safe Working Practices – SWP
Prevention of Marine Pollution – PMP
Anatomy of Ships and other relevant courses
It also organizes short courses and seminars for ESLSC staff and Management
Some highlights on basic courses
Personal Safety and Social Responsibility: Its objectives are to give basic training in safety procedures and accident prevention and to familiarize personnel with the employment conditions and working environment on board vessels.
Basic Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting: Deals with the precautions to be taken to minimize the risk of fires onboard ships, the way in which fires are caused and how to extinguish them. The course includes practical training in the use of fire extinguisher, hoses and other fire-fighting equipment. It also covers the use of breathing apparatus for fire fighting and rescue purposes.
Personal Survival Techniques: Deals with the actions taken by individuals to protect themselves in emergency situations and includes practical training in the use of life jackets, life boats, pyrotechniques and distress signals. The course may be integrated with other basic training such as Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting.
Elementary First Aid: It is initial assistance or treatment given to a casualty for any injury or sudden illness before the arrival of further help such as an ambulance, a doctor or other qualified person, shore assistance, etc.
Dormitory: Dormitories have a capacity of accommodating 24 trainees in hostel-style lodging. The bed rooms include cupboards, bedside drawers and reading tables with chairs. Bathrooms and toilets are available adjacent to bedrooms.
Training Room: The Institute has well equipped training rooms and workshops.
Resource Room: This includes a Mini-Library, Videos and access to the internet.
Cafeteria: It serves up to 50 people.
Information on course schedule and training fee from the head office located at Lagare, Addis Ababa or from the Institute located in Debrezeit.
Bishoftu Maritime Training Institute, Debrezeit,Tel: +251 11 4 370301