Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has acquired a 50-acre land near Kenya’s border with Tanzania for the construction of an inland container depot to boost trade with Burundi.
The improved road infrastructure coupled with an inland container depot at Taveta is set to boost onward transit, outright export and trans-shipment of cargo to Burundi through Mombasa.
Last year, 75,811 tonnes of Burundi imports and exports passed through the Port of Mombasa pre-dominantly clinker, motor vehicles and tea for exports. Speaking during a recent tour of the Port of Mombasa, Burundi Transport Minister Jean Bosco Ntunzwenimana said the two countries are enhancing working relations between the Port of Mombasa and that of Bujumbura to bolster trade in the region.
“The road between our capital and DRC is undergoing a facelift which will enable us facilitate and increase trade along the northern corridor,” he said.
The minister said the ongoing construction of the alternative route to Bujumbura, Mombasa-Voi-Taveta-Moshi-Arusha-Singida-Bujumbura covering 1,545 kilometres will reduce the distance from Mombasa to Bujumbura via the Northern corridor by 358 kilometres.
KPA acting managing director Catherine Mturi-Wairi said improved infrastructure is critical for breaking some of the existing barriers to trade.
“We believe that our drive towards greater efficiencies and enhancing our competitiveness has a positive impact on supply chain and regional economies.
Our container dwell time is now at (4.3 days) compared to (4.7 days) a year ago,” she said, adding that increased capacity at the Port of Mombasa is critical for transit of imports and exports across the Northern corridor markets. In 2014, KPA opened a liaison office in Bujumbura to bring services closer to the customers in the country and also to reach out to the Democratic Republic of Congo market.