WELCOME REMARKS BY THE KENYA PORTS AUTHORITY MANAGING DIRETOR MRS. CATHERINE MTURI – WAIRI DURING THE VISIT TO THE PORT OF MOMBASA BY THE PUBLIC-PRIVATE BUSINESS MISSION TO KENYA ON 19TH APRIL 2017
The Ambassador of Japan to Kenya, His Excellency Toshitsugu Uesawa
The High Commissioner of India Her Excellency, Suchitra Durai
The Business Mission Leader and Deputy Director General of the International
Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan, Mr. Seiji Okada,
The Economic Advisor Office of the President Dr. Eric Aligula,
Director (Investment), Department of Trade, Investment, Energy and Industry, County Government of Mombasa Ms. Swabra Abdulrahaman,
Chairman, Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Mombasa Chapter) Mr. James Mureu,
All distinguished members of the Business Mission,
The KPA colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen.Ms.
I am pleased to welcome you all to the Kenya Ports Authority headquarters, specifically to our Training institution – Bandari College. We consider your distinguished visit a great honor to us as it is a recognition of our position as a key development and trade partner in this region.
1. Frankly, this is the largest delegation of this high caliber we have received this year, a sign of many good business tidings to come.
2. Indeed ports world-wide are the nerve centers of global trade and economies. It is approximated that over 80% of world trade is sea-borne. In Kenya, the port of Mombasa handles nearly 90% of the country's external trade in terms of tonnage. Clearly, if ports did not play their catalytic economic roles effectively, international trade will not thrive.
3. As you are aware, the Port of Mombasa serves the hinterland countries of Uganda, Northern Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan.
4. The port of Mombasa has come a long way having been in existence for over a century. During this time, a lot of development has been witnessed, transforming the port from a traditional small harbour facility to a modern international port.
5. I am glad to note that for the last ten years or so the Kenya Ports Authority has initiated and implemented development programmes geared towards making the port of Mombasa stand out among the well performing ports globally.
Such efforts include:
- Acquisition of state of the art marine, and cargo handling equipment;
- Development and implementation of a comprehensive ICT strategy to reduce paper work and speed up documentation.
- Increased customer service orientation through holding of regular stakeholder meetings.
- Introduction of 24/7 working schedule
- Involvement of private sector in some of the operations.
6. The port has seen a continued growth in container traffic and overall throughput. Over the last three years, the Port has consistently handled over one million TEUs thus enabling Mombasa to feature in the global map of top container Ports. Last year, the port handled 1.091 million TEUs and the overall throughput grew by 2.4 per cent to post a best-ever performance of 27.36 million tons, against a backdrop of slower than expected global and regional economic growth.
7. In our continued efforts to improve efficiency and serve the regional economies especially in light and spirit of the re-vamped East African Community, we have embarked on the following initiatives:
- Expansion of the port to include development of the 2nd phase of the 2nd Container Terminal.
- Facilitate development of Free Trade Zones near the Port.
- Beefing up security.
- Further dredging of the Channel to accommodate bigger ships
- Facilitate government efforts for the ongoing development of a second commercial sea port at Lamu.
8. The above efforts will spur business growth in the region and increase employment opportunities.
9. We shall continue to work more closely with our parent Ministry and other relevant ministries and economic bodies with a view to promoting business and economic growth and development.
10. I wish you a successful business trip and hope that the port tour will be of great value to you and the people of Kenya.
Thank you and Karibu to Mombasa.