NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – The government has pledged to allocate land in Naivasha for Uganda to develop a dry port for its cargo ahead of the completion of the Standard Gauge Railway phase 2 from Nairobi to Naivasha in June this year.
Speaking during a state banquet in Mombasa last night, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the link of the dry port with SGR from Mombasa Port will create an efficient movement of goods between the two countries.
The Head of State further said that the initiative will also reduce the cost of transport for Ugandan investors.
“I have confirmed to President Museveni that with that development in Naivasha and then moving the SGR to Malaba, goods will be able to move from Mombasa to Malaba in just two days,” the President said.
He observed that movement of cargo from the Port of Mombasa to Kampala that previously took 21 days has drastically reduced to 7 days since he took over as President.
He indicated that as the government implements the long-term plan to move all cargo from the road to the SGR, his administration is working on the complete elimination of barriers that slow down movement of cargo such as multiple roadblocks and unnecessary weighbridges.
On a recent tour to Namibia, President Kenyatta said Kenya will replicate Namibia’s port authority plan of assigning dry ports to the different neighbouring nations that border the south African country.
“That kind of arrangement can let them manage their own cargo and our job will be to be efficient port owners,” said President Kenyatta.
The President said the government is finalizing the construction of the Kisumu petroleum jetty which together with the oil pipeline will ease transportation of petroleum products across the region.
“For the first time since colonial days, we are utilizing Lake Victoria for transportation thereby reducing the cost of moving fuel (petroleum) to Uganda and increasing potential for trade between the two countries,” he said.
President Museveni said petroleum products will be carried across Lake Victoria to Uganda via tag boats.
“It will be cheaper, faster, safer and away from the roads,” said Museveni.
He emphasised that African countries must embrace economic and political integration in order to spur prosperity and ensure strategic security for their citizens.
He praised the founding fathers of African states such as Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, Kwameh Nkrumah, Sekou Toure and other Pan Africanists for championing continental and regional economic and political integration.
The Ugandan leader hailed the revival of the East African Community, joining of COMESA by East African states and signing of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) saying those were progressive steps towards the political integration of the continent.
“Economic integration if it is implemented properly will result in the modernization of African countries. They will be stimulated to produce more,” he stated.