Efficiency at Mombasa port improved
24 February 2014, 20:00
Nairobi - Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Trademark East Africa (TMEA) said Saturday they have developed a partnership program aimed at increasing capacity in container trade and improve efficiency at the East African country's Indian Ocean port of Mombasa.
The project funded by the British and the Dutch governments to the tune of 53 million U.S. dollars comprises 10 components which include infrastructure and facilities improvement.
"The funds will be utilized to mitigate on inefficiencies and improve capacity at East Africa's largest port and also support the setting up of future longer-term port operation improvements," TMEA CEO Frank Martsaet said during a presidential roundtable on the Mombasa Port Community Charter in Nairobi.
The Mombasa Port Community Charter spells out a number of broad goals, which include transforming the Mombasa port to a highly performing landlord port by 2016 and integration of all port community members systems into the Kenya National Electronic single window system by December.
The Charter also aims at bringing together the port community to complement individual institutional service charters in addressing challenges that act as efficiency barriers.
The move comes after Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta last year directed the clearing process at the port to be digitized in order to enhance efficiency.
Other directives were abolition of transshipment bond, removal of roadblocks along the Northern corridor, rationalization of weighbridges, abolition of scanning of transit cargo within the port and 24/7 hrs operational at port.
Kenyatta directed that the multiple players in government involved in port operations be properly coordinated under the leadership of KPA's MD, who will have direct control over all operation.
All customs decisions were also ordered to be made and finalized at the Port of Mombasa without further reference to Nairobi which has created delays in the pas.
To unlock the trade potential of the Mombasa port corridor, Martsaet said KPA and other stakeholders have developed a Mombasa Port Community Charter to guide trade facilitation through the port for national and regional economic growth and prosperity.
Martsaet regretted that poor infrastructure, delays in cargo clearance and customs procedures at the port contributed to high cost of doing business along the transport corridor.
He however acknowledged the ongoing infrastructure enhancement developments at the port which are bound to ensure increased capacity to handle growing volumes and associated demand for port services.
President Kenyatta, who is expected to launch the Community Port Charter later this month, said the government remained committed to measures and projects that improve on productivity at the port of Mombasa.
The president said the charter was timely as it augments the massive government investment in port infrastructural improvements and cargo handling equipment.
"Am happy to note that port stakeholders came together and developed the port charter to increase efficiency of the Mombasa port corridor," he said.