Kenya Ports Authority (KPA): Gateway to East and Central Africa

KENYA Ports Authority, a state Corporation under the Ministry of Transport is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Set up by an Act of Parliament in January 1978, KPA's mandate is to maintain, operate, improve and regulate all scheduled sea ports along Kenya's Coast with Mombasa as the premier port and gateway to East and Central Africa.

Due to its secure location, superior cargo handling capabilities and an efficient communication infrastructure, the Port of Mombasa is the best port on the East Africa coastline serving Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Northern Tanzania, Southern Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia.
And as we celebrate 30 years of exemplary service to the economies of this region, we wish to re-affirm our commitment to transforming the Port of Mombasa into a World-class facility.

The Kenya Ports Authority has witnessed major developments in the 30 years of its existence. Within this period the Authority has scored highly in various sectors including the tremendous improvement of cargo handling capabilities. This is a testimony of the management's commitment to delivery of efficient and quality service to its customers.

In the last 30 years KPA has been in-charge of the construction of inland container depots; the establishment of the Bandari training College to impart quality training for both staff and non employees; setting up of the Kampala Liaison office to facilitate trade within the region; and recently and very important the automation of key port operations.

As the economies in the region continue to experience phenomenal growth, the management endeavours to upgrade facilities to meet the growing needs of the country and the larger east and central Africa.

Just a week ago KPA signed a con-tract with Japan Port Consultants Limited for the construction of a second container terminal, heralding a new chapter for the authority. Construction of the 1.2 million Twenty Foot Equivalent (TEUs) capacity second container terminal comes at a time when the management is striving to re-position the port to efficiently and effectively serve the region.

During the six year construction, the port of Mombasa will witness construction of quay and sea walls, utilities, buildings, access road and parking space. Other civil works will include extension of railway line, installation of leading lights from the quay and marker buoys at the channel and basins.

The total cargo handled has been increasing over the years growing on average by 8 per cent between 2000 and 2007. On the other hand, container traffic has increased from 236,298 TEUs in 2000 to 550,000 TEUs in 2007, translating into an average growth rate of 12 per annum. The traffic is projected to reach over 960,000 TEUs by the year 2015; this is way beyond the existing design capacity of 250,000 TEUs.

Out of the total port traffic, about 27 per cent is meant for hinterland countries, which have been recording significant improved economic performance in the past six years. This growth is expected to hold and in fact improve in the near future. However, it is dependent on how well the port operates. Currently capacity utilization stands at about 70 per cent which is one of the highest in the world. Conventionally capacity utilization of 40 per cent is considered optimal.

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