DRC Delegation tours Northern Transport Corridor
Mombasa – September 7,2022
Trade volumes between Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are expected to rise following an extensive targeted tour of the Northern Transport Corridor by a multi-agency delegation.
The delegation comprising representatives from Office of Multimodal Freight Management (OGEFREM), Congolese Business Federation (FEC), Office of the Governor for North Kivu, Kivu Mineral Resources and Association Congollaise De Commissaires Agrees en Dounane (ACCAD)- Freight Forwarders recently toured the Port of Mombasa, the Inland Container Depot Nairobi (ICDN) and the Naivasha Dry Port.
During the three-day tour, the officials held extensive discussions focused on opportunities and challenges that hinder DRC's optimal utilization of the northern transport corridor.
Kenya's key agencies in the shipping and transport sector including the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Kenya Railways (KR), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Kenyan Consulate in Goma, cargo clearance agencies represented by the Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA), Kenya Ships Agents Association (KSAA), Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) and Shippers Council of Eastern Africa (SCEA) among others were part of these discussions.
During the stakeholder engagements, it was resolved that there was need for a strategy that will streamline transport and logistics services along the northern corridor and create synergies with the counterpart agencies in DRC to improve efficiency and boost DRC bound traffic volumes through the corridor.
KPA acting Managing Director Amb. John Mwangemi who hosted the delegation, welcomed the visit noting that the economic fortunes of the region was dependent on the robustness and efficiency of the shipping transport and logistics industry which support international trade.
He added that this was the justification for the accelerated investments by the Kenya Ports Authority in port infrastructure projects as port facilities are the start and end of the logistics supply chains.
Underscoring the close ties that Kenya has maintained with the DRC, including spearheading, and fast-tracking the DRC's accession into the East Africa Community, Brigadier (Rtd) Jossiah Mrashui the Consular General of the Consulate of the Republic of Kenya, said that the focus for Kenya is to expand economic opportunities for shared prosperity of both countries.
This he noted could be through generation of efficiencies in export-import trade that will scale up and nurture regional value chains across sectors.
"I am convinced that we will be able to unlock the vast potential of this northern corridor through the multimodal transport arteries," he said.
The DRC delegation kicked off their mission with a visit to the Port of Mombasa to understand the operations and cargo clearance processes at the biggest port in East Africa. Following the corridor route, the team landed at the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi that is connected to the Port of Mombasa by the Standard Gauge Railway.
The ICD Nairobi plays a crucial role in the effective movement of cargo locally and to the transit markets through the seamless intermodal transfer of cargo from the port by the Standard Gauge Railway. The recently revamped facility now has an annual capacity of 450,000 TEUs.
A visit to the Naivasha Inland Container Depot marked the culmination of the corridor tour. The ICD Naivasha is the last stop facility with direct connectivity to the Port by the Standard Gauge Railway.
The Naivasha Inland Container Depot with a capacity of 1033 TEUs ground slots has a second service line that connects the Dry Port to the border town of Malaba by the Metre Gauge railway.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is now the third largest market for the Port of Mombasa with a market share of 8.2 percent.
With the formal admission of the DRC to the East Africa Community, more private and public organizations from the Central Africa country are setting up businesses in the country.
To cement their position, Lignes Maritimes Congolaises – DRC government owned shipping line begun operations in Mombasa in June this year becoming the latest entrant to Mombasa.