Feb 25, 2014
General
caxias
Kenya has stepped up a campaign to speed up clearance of cargo at Mombasa port to attract business from neighbouring landlocked states.
Kenya has stepped up a campaign to speed up clearance of cargo at Mombasa port to attract business from neighbouring landlocked states.

Hot on the heels of last Friday’s northern corridor infrastructure summit held in Kampala, President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday chaired a meeting with stakeholders and announced the efficiency drive was on course.

Under the campaign, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) have partnered in a Sh450.5 million ($53m) project to boost the port’s container capacity.

Officials said the project, funded by the United Kingdom and the Netherlands governments, is expected to unlock the trade potential of Mombasa port.

At the meeting, TMEA chief executive officer Frank Martsaet said a Mombasa Port Community Charter developed by KPA and other players in the transport sector was guiding the reforms.

The programme, set to be completed by next year, is intended to cut transit cargo clearance time by two days with the economy gaining Sh110.5 billion in reduced cost and increased trade volumes.

Poor infrastructure

“Poor infrastructure, delays in cargo clearance and customs procedures at the port contribute to the high cost of doing business along the transport corridor,” the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU) reported Mr Martsaet as saying during the closed-door meeting.

Mombasa port serves Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, eastern DRC and Southern Sudan. Traders from the landlocked states had threatened to dump the northern corridor for an alternative route through Tanzania citing port inefficiency and corruption on Kenyan roads.

Mr Martsaet said the ongoing infrastructure upgrades at the port would ensure increased capacity to handle growing volumes and associated demand for port services.

The Port Community Charter, which specifies roles for various transport sector players in easing congestion at the port, will be launched by President Kenyatta later this month.

He said that Kenya was committed to improving productivity at the port.

“I am happy to note that port stakeholders came together and developed the charter to increase efficiency.”
Return