Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023
The Seafarer Digital Literacy Initiative: Equipping African Seafarers for the Digital World at Sea

The maritime industry is undergoing a digital transformation, and the Seafarer Digital Literacy Initiative (SDLI) is playing a crucial role in preparing African seafarers for this new era. Fieldbase Services Ltd., with the support of KVH Industries, Inc. and Intelsat, has launched this innovative training program in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

SDLI provides a comprehensive curriculum that combines classroom training and ongoing onboard education. It covers a wide range of topics including basic computer skills, document sharing, digital signatures, satellite communication systems, electronic charts, remote service and support tools, and cybersecurity fundamentals. The goal is to equip seafarers with the necessary digital literacy skills to improve operations, support their crews, and ensure the safe operation of their vessels.

Chinedu Abanobi, Managing Director of Fieldbase, emphasizes the importance of crew training to maximize the benefits of technological advancements in the shipping industry. He believes that SDLI is a critical step in empowering seafarers with the competencies required to harness the efficiencies offered by digital tools.

KVH Industries, Inc. and Intelsat are proud sponsors of SDLI. Chris Watson, KVH’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, expresses his excitement to support this initiative. He highlights the vital role that African seafarers and ports play in the global maritime industry. Watson believes that SDLI and Fieldbase’s training team are leading the way in ensuring that bridge crews have the necessary digital literacy levels to utilize digital tools effectively and enhance operational efficiency.

The program has already seen its first trainees complete the training, with a growing waiting list of officers and crew eager to join. If successful, SDLI may expand to other African ports in addition to Lagos and Port Harcourt.

A recent trainee and captain from Nemera Oil and Gas lauds the program’s effectiveness and plans to recommend it to their chief officers. The positive feedback from trainees further highlights the value of SDLI in enhancing seafarers’ capabilities.

For more information about the Seafarer Digital Literacy Initiative, please visit the provided website.