, MOMBASA, Kenya, Jun 30 – Twenty five agencies have signed the Mombasa Port Community Charter, a binding pact with the aim of improving efficiency at the port of Mombasa.
The organisations are drawn from government agencies, private sector, civil society and interest groups who are key players on the Northern Corridor.
They include the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), Kenya National Police Service, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Shippers Council of East Africa among others.
One of the major targets of the agreement is to completely eliminate cargo delays at the Port of Mombasa by 2016.
According to Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) Country Director Chris Kiptoo, the delays are due to lack of synergy among the key stakeholders involved in clearing cargo.
The signing of the charter was witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta who urged all the agencies involved to work towards their goals and bring sanity at the port.
“You people have put a rope on your necks because in any case I never directed you but you have gone ahead and initiated this noble cause. No one is going to succeed alone, we must work together,” President Kenyatta said during the signing ceremony at the port on Monday.
Other goals the charter intends to achieve by 2016 include having an average of 120,000 kilometres coverage truck per annum, growth in cargo off take by rail to above 30 percent and achievement of 70 percent cargo through the green channel.
They also target to integrate all port community members’ system into the Kenya National Electronic Single Window system by December this year.
The President called on those managing the charter to ensure it is put online where the public can monitor the progress.
“I would want to see at least weekly updates,” he said.
The process is being managed by TMEA which will keep checking on the progress of the agencies involved.
In the recent past, Kenya has continued to face competition from her neighbours especially Tanzania due to inefficiencies at the Mombasa Port.
But Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau maintained that with this kind of commitment from all the stakeholders the port will see great improvements.
“As much as we appreciate what our neighbours are doing, I would want to say that our greatest competitor is ‘port efficiency’. This should be our target,” Kamau said.
The Mombasa Port is the deepest in East Africa accommodating container ships of up to 8000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs).
During the event, the President also launched the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) strategic plan.