, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – In a move to facilitate and expand regional trade, the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has opened an office in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, to improve service delivery and expedite cargo flow along the Northern Corridor.
Speaking during the launch, KPA Chairman Danson Mungatana said the Burundi business community can now use the liaison office to raise any issues regarding their cargo without having to travel all the way to Mombasa.
“Cargo to Burundi through the Mombasa Port has been growing rapidly. For instance, cargo volumes grew by 84 percent last year underlining increased confidence by Burundi government and business community in the port,” Mungatana said.
The ceremony was presided over by Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure Michael Kamau and his Burundi counterpart Diometra Ruruwinza.
KPA plans to train personnel from Burundi in order to improve customer satisfaction through quality service delivery.
“We are launching a new program to train qualified Burundians at the KPA Bandari College. This will help improve service delivery along the Northern Corridor as the regional economy grows,” said Mungatana.
The Northern Corridor is the transport and trade route that serves Uganda, Northern Tanzania, Eastern DRC, Rwanda and Burundi from the port of Mombasa.
In July last year the authority also opened another liaison office in Kigali, Rwanda to serve the growing market.
The business community in Rwanda too were previously forced to travel Kenya to clear their good and sort out any grievances, which is currently not the case.
The landlocked regional states uses the port of Mombasa as their main artery to bring in goods with imports growing by an average of 9 percent annually.