The Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) are weighing a partnership that will address congestion at their principal ports, as well as to foster clearing of cargos and speed up the East African region's economies.
After protracted complaints from the business community, the Port of Mombasa has set out to reclaim its appeal and regain its position as the gateway to East Africa with the joint venture.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam last week, the Kenya High Commissioner to Tanzania, Mutinda Mutiso said that the two ports are keen at collaborating to end congestion at the two East African ports as far as the regional integration is concerned.
"Just when most importers were increasingly opting to use the Dar port due to inefficiencies and congestion at the Mombasa Port, it's high time the two ports had keen collaboration because even Dar port is experiencing the same problem," Mutiso said.
Mutiso stressed that the new terminal of Juba port will be put up to cater for the projected container increase in excess of 960,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (Teus) by 2015.
"The need for the construction and improvements of East African ports cannot be over emphasised," Mutiso said, adding that the Kenyan Authority would ensure the development of the regional Port of Lamu to meet the growing demand for port services.
The Managing Director of the Kenya Port Authority, Gichiri Ndua said that the business community was upbeat that the new terminal of Lamu will enhance efficiency for businesses operating in the country.
Apart from Kenya, the port also serves Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The new terminal will have the capacity of 1.2 million Teus per year and will have three berths that measure 230, 320 and 350 metres.
Over the last 12 years, traffic through the Port of Mombasa had increased by 7.4 percent per annum, rising from 9 million tonnes in 2000 to 20 million tons last year.