Uhuru says end of red tape key to Mombasa Port reform

August 22, 2013
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President Kenyatta looks at a plan of the Tianjin Five Continents International Container Terminal/PSCU
President Kenyatta looks at a plan of the Tianjin Five Continents International Container Terminal/PSCU
TIANJIN, China, Aug 22 – President Uhuru Kenyatta, impressed after a visit to the super-efficient Chinese port of Tianjin, urged executives at the Port of Mombasa to embrace efficiency, transparency and reduce red tape to bolster operations.

President Kenyatta said effective management of the Mombasa Port would speed up the clearance of goods to match East African region’s demands, reduce the cost of doing business and stop the whining over poor services.

The President is known to be concerned at the slow pace of clearing cargo at Mombasa, although measures ordered by Cabinet in recent months have led to significant improvements.

“Efficiency, transparency and reduction of red tape would go a long way in attracting investments as well as customers,” the President said.

Tianjin cleared some 500 million tonnes in 2012. It is ranked fourth in the world in terms of cargo handling capacity. Its main navigational channel is at least 21 meters deep, enabling the handling of ships with over 300,000 tonnes capacity.

President Kenyatta observed that because of its streamlined operations, Tianjin port attracted business from North-East, Central and Western Asia.

President Kenyatta, accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, is on his first State visit to China. He is accompanied by senior government officials, governors and captains of industry.

Tianjin is one of China’s Special Economic Zones – which manufacture goods for export under a government-backed scheme.

At another event in Tianjin, President Kenyatta met municipal officials.

The President used the opportunity to showcase Kenya’s county system of governance, and urged Kenyan Governors to emulate the best of China’s municipal management practice to make devolution succeed.

The President said exchange of visits between Kenyan county officials and their Chinese counterparts would enable them pick best practices of running devolved units efficiently. He said this would ensure the success of devolution and satisfy aspirations of people keen chart their own destiny.

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