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Kenyan Envoy Commends Ports Authority For Efficiency

The Kenyan High Commissioner to Uganda, Maj. Gen. (Retd) George Owinow, speaks to KPA stakeholders in Kampala on October 6.

The Kenyan High Commissioner to Uganda has commended the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) for the improved efficiency and professionalism, which he said are leading to the growth of trade in the Great Lakes Region.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting with KPA’s key stakeholders in Kampala on October 6, H.E. Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) George Owinow added that KPA deserves credit for the amount of effort they have put into the development of the port of Mombasa and its auxiliary facilities so as to achieve more efficiency and quality of operations for better trade on the Northern Corridor.

“Mombasa Port is vital for the efficient operation of the Northern Corridor because of its connectivity with the rest of the world, all the way up to Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo, and South Sudan, so I want to commend you for that,” he said.

He also saluted the respective governments for working together for the development of the infrastructure network across the Corridor and for diversifying it into road, railway, and water modes of transport.

In recent months, the Kenyan government has introduced a raft of measures aimed at improving efficiency at the Port of Mombasa, including a directive from Kenyan President H.E. William Samoei Ruto that the port must operate 24 hours a day in alignment with all government agencies and cargo handlers.

Statistics show that in 2022, Uganda accounted for 71.5% of transit traffic at the port of Mombasa.

Ms. Betty Mkonyi, the KPA Country Representative to Uganda, said that apart from investing in state-of-the-art equipment and the completion of the new container terminal to increase capacity and cater for the rising demand, they have also increased the free storage period for transit cargo from 9 to 15 days.

Ms Betty Mkonyi, the KPA Country Representative to Uganda (R), interacts with customers during the engagement.   (Courtesy photo)

That means that after 15 days, containers that overstay up to 21 days would pay $30 per 20-foot container and $60 for a 40-foot container. After 21 days, each 20-foot container would be charged between $45 and $90 for each 40-foot container.

Mombasa Port, ranked among the top ten ports in Africa, acts as a vital hub for Western Europe, Asia, the Americas, and the Far East. But whereas the historical port enjoys the strategic advantage of being positioned on key global trade routes over the major water bodies, including the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea, and although various initiatives have been employed to expand the port, it is yet to realize its full potential.

However, the Government of Kenya, together with its Northern Corridor partners, is investing heavily in a multi-modal infrastructure network to link to the port using road, water, and railway modes of transport.

The breakfast participants, who included transporters, logistics companies, freight forwarders, top importers, and exporters, commended KPA for its commitment to consistently improve service delivery to its customers.

Ms. Mkonyi expressed gratitude to the Kenyan High Commissioner’s Office for the support it continues to render. Also present at the breakfast was Ms. Doris Komen, the Commercial Attache at the Kenya High Commission.

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