Enhanced service delivery at the port of Mombasa will in the long run strengthen trade flows and economic integration in the East Africa region.
The Transport and Infrastructure Development Cabinet Secretary (CS), Dr. James Macharia says efficient cargo movement at the port will facilitate trade with the neighbouring countries.
Efficient port service delivery is vital for a prosperous economy not only for Kenya but for the East African Community (EAC) partner states, he said.
The CS was addressing captains of the maritime industry and key trade development partners during the second Think Tank forum and annual review of the Port Community Charter at the Pride Inn Hotel in Mombasa on Thursday.
The port community charter is composed of stakeholders in public and private sector covering traders, transport infrastructure developers and logistics service providers.
The CS was accompanied by Transport Principal Secretary, Prof. Paul Maringa and his Maritime and Shipping Affairs counterpart, Mrs. Nancy Karigithu to the stakeholder’s forum running under the theme ‘facilitating trade for sustainable economic development in East Africa’.
Macharia noted that seaborne trade has increased substantially in the region since the signing of the port charter in 2014 aimed at increasing capacity in container trade and efficiency at the port of Mombasa.
He stated the service charter proclaims the desire of the Mombasa port community to realise the full trade facilitation potential of the Mombasa port corridor.
The CS noted that the charter which has been in operation for the last five years addressed the bottlenecks that hinder smooth flow of cargo and competitiveness of the port.
The port charter programme is being undertaken by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Trade Mark East Africa with funding from the governments of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to the tune of Shs.450.5 million.
According to Gilbert Langat, Chairman of the Port of Mombasa Community Charter since the inception of the charter the port has realised speedy cargo clearance that has increased customer satisfaction.
Growing cargo handling capacity at the port of Mombasa has led to business expansion in Mombasa and beyond,’ he said adding that the charter has led to decline in government bureaucracy that hampers cargo operations.
On her part , KPA Managing Director, Ms Catherine Mturi Wairi said the charter will be strengthened as it has helped to cut bureaucracy and led to port efficiency.
She said cargo volumes through the port have been growing courtesy of the service charter that brings together 22 government departments and private sector players in the maritime sector to improve efficiency at the facility.
She said imports grew substantially to record 25.60 million tons of cargo in 2017 up from 23.12 million tons in 2016.
For cargo destined to our transit markets, the port handled a total of 8,636,605 tons of transit cargo against 7,748,537 tons registered in the same period in 2016,’ she said.
The KPA MD also added that transshipment traffic continued to perform well posting 873,989 tons compared to 588,524 tons realized in 216.
Source: Kenya News Agency