In a move aimed at enhancing trade facilitation and connectivity, the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has initiated talks with Uganda to establish a dry port in Kampala. The proposed facility, named KPA-Uganda, is poised to become a joint venture between the two nations, streamlining business operations for Ugandan importers.
KPA Managing Director, Captain William K Ruto, held discussions with a delegation from Uganda’s Parliamentary Committee on Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, emphasizing the goal of making business operations seamless for Ugandan importers. Ruto stated, “We want to make doing business easy for the Uganda importer such that if you have cargo, you just go and collect it from Kampala and then return your empty container there.”
The envisioned dry port is expected to simplify the movement of cargo from the Port of Mombasa to Uganda. Captain Ruto urged parliamentary support for the initiative, highlighting the potential for significant benefits in terms of efficiency and ease of doing business.
One of the key advantages outlined by Ruto is the utilization of the rehabilitated Kisumu Port in Uganda, where a considerable portion of oil products destined for Uganda is transported from Mombasa to Kisumu. From there, the products are loaded onto ships for onward delivery to Kampala.
Acknowledging Uganda’s pivotal role in cargo volumes through the Port of Mombasa, Ruto noted that Uganda accounts for 25 percent of the annual cargo volume of about 35 million tonnes. The proposed dry port is expected to further boost trade ties between the two nations.
Ruto briefed the Ugandan delegation on the progress of various measures undertaken by the Kenyan government, including the removal of non-tariff barriers along the Northern Corridor, a vital transportation route connecting Kenya and Uganda.
Additionally, he highlighted advancements in the development of the standard gauge railway (SGR), which currently extends from Mombasa to Naivasha, with plans to extend it to Malaba, the border between the two countries.
Uganda’s plans for constructing an SGR line from Malaba to Kampala were acknowledged during the meeting, further enhancing connectivity and trade facilitation between the two East African nations.
The Ugandan delegation commended the KPA for its efforts in the modernization of port facilities and the automation of port services at the Port of Mombasa.