A Container Terminal within the Port of Mombasa. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG
Kenya must protect its transport corridor by investing in the Mombasa port amid emerging competition from other facilities in the region.
Mombasa currently handles 3,000 containers daily and many landlocked countries in the region rely on it.
A report by advisory firm GBS Africa shows that plans to develop Lamu and Tanzania’s Bagamoyo into transshipment ports could in the long run give them an advantage over Mombasa in terms of the size and number of vessels handled and the time taken to move containers.
A shift to other ports will remove Mombasa’s historic shine as a strategic trading post and the main gateway to international markets
It is time therefore to invest in Mombasa Port to avoid losing out to other countries that are fighting for a share of the Indian Ocean trade by courting shipping lines with less congestion time and ease of movement of goods and services.
Besides facilitating regional and international trade, the port plays a significant role in economic development through the development of maritime-related industries, attracting foreign direct investments, and creating employment.