Home NewsRegional Kenya Commits To Remove Port Trade Barriers for Rwanda

Kenya Commits To Remove Port Trade Barriers for Rwanda

by Daniel Sabiiti
4:31 pm

Rwandan High Commissioner to Kenya, Martin Ngoga (L) and Kenya Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen shaking hands after the meeting in Nairobi on January 23, 2023

Rwanda and Kenya have embarked on plans to kick start the construction of infrastructure facilities at the Naivasha Cargo Dry Port to facilitate trade between the two states.

In 2022, former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta handed over the official document of the four hectares of land at Naivasha Industrial Area allocated to Rwanda.

The land given to Rwanda in Naivasha is supposed to be used for warehouses for goods from the port of Mombasa.

Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Kenya, Martin Ngoga and Kenya Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kipchumba Murkomen met this week to discuss details of setting up the infrastructure.

CS Murkomen said that the move by Rwanda would be beneficial to Kenya as the facility would improve the movement of goods between the two countries.

“We thank the Government of Rwanda for their interest in establishing their cargo-handling facility at the Naivasha Dry Port, which will further boost the transit of goods between the two countries,” Murkomen stated on his X account.

“Rwanda is a strategic partner for Kenya and the East African Community as a whole, and we shall continue strengthening and deepening our diplomatic, business, and political relations,” he added.

In efforts to promote business and the use of the Northern Corridor, the two officials also discussed the need to utilize the existing Port of Mombasa especially removing some of the trade barriers that were hampering Rwandan traders from realizing the port’s full potential.

“We discussed ways of improving efficiency at the Port. I urge government agencies and other service providers to take advantage of the 24-hour service at the Port to improve service delivery.

“We further discussed ways of removing impediments to trade, such as non-tariff barriers, unnecessary roadblocks on the Northern Corridor, and the decongestion of the Malaba border,” Murkomen stated.

Ambassador Ngoga said that Rwanda greatly appreciated the willingness of the Kenyan government to promote cooperation between the two countries and that he is encouraged to participate more in this cooperation.

“I very much appreciate your efforts and commitment to promote our partnership in areas of mutual interests. I look forward for continued interaction,” Ngoga said.

The Naivasha Port is seen as a strategic investment reducing road travel and product damages significantly owing to the railway line that runs from Mombasa.

Plans are underway to extend the line from Nakuru to the Ugandan border.

In 2020, Prof Nshuti Manasseh, who was at the time Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in charge of the East African Community, pointed out that since Rwanda is a landlocked country, it must find solutions to access the port.

“From Naivasha to Mombasa is 560 Kilometers. The goods are transported by train which will reduce the expensive and time consuming road. From Naivasha to Kigali will be close.”

Kenya has previous offered land at the Naivasha Dry Port to other regional countries such as South Sudan, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi.

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