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MV Mpungu to transform E.Africa’s inland trade routes

MV Mpungu to transform E.Africa’s inland trade routes

MV Mpungu is the latest addition to the fleet of vessels plying the lake region (Courtesy photo)

Uganda has unveiled its latest maritime asset, MV Mpungu, a robust roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) vessel designated to ply the waters of Lake Victoria, linking key ports in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

With a carrying capacity of 21 trailers, MV Mpungu is poised to revolutionize cargo transportation across the East African lake region. The vessel’s operational routes encompass vital ports including Port Bell in Uganda, Mwanza in Tanzania, and Jinja and Kisumu in Kenya.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has hailed the introduction of MV Mpungu as a significant milestone in advancing lake transport and trade within the region. “MV Mpungu is the latest addition to the fleet of vessels plying the lake region,” affirmed KPA, underscoring its pivotal role in facilitating trade activities.

The strategic significance of MV Mpungu extends beyond mere transportation; it symbolizes a concerted effort by East African nations to fortify their economic ties and harness the full potential of Lake Victoria as a trade conduit. “This is a milestone for the East Africa Lake region as it will enhance lake transport and trade between Port Bell, Mwanza, Jinja, and Kisumu port,” emphasized KPA.

The surge in lake transport underscores a burgeoning trend among Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya, as they endeavor to foster deeper integration and cooperation. KPA highlighted the escalating momentum in lake transport and reaffirmed the commitment of the three nations to bolstering trade through the shared resource of Lake Victoria.

A notable testament to the growing significance of lake transport is the remarkable upswing witnessed at the Kisumu port. KPA reported a substantial increase in cargo handling, with the port managing to process 127,745 metric tons of cargo in 2023, marking a significant leap from the previous year’s figure of 69,456 metric tons.

“Lake transport is on a steady rise as East African countries of Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya work towards connecting the region and improving trade through the shared Lake Victoria,” reiterated KPA, highlighting the collective efforts aimed at leveraging the region’s maritime potential.

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