Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director (MD) Captain William Kipkemboi Ruto has officially taken over from his predecessor former acting MD Ambassador John Mwangemi.
Captain Ruto promised to spearhead efforts to transform the Port of Mombasa and other port facilities to regional economic hubs.
Ruto takes over from Ambassador Mwangemi who has held the position in an acting capacity since 2021, and will serve for the next three years.
He becomes the 15th MD since KPA was established in 1978. The position has been vacant for the last three years.
He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Strategic Management option from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
Ruto is also an associate fellow of the Nautical Institute (AF-NI) and a member of the International Harbour Master’s Association (UK), and has attained the highest qualification as a Ship Captain (Class 1 Master Mariner) from South Tyneside Marine College, United Kingdom.
The new MD says he will be pulling out all the stops to facilitate regional maritime trade and improve port capacity, operation and service efficiency.
He assured that his administration will move Mombasa Port to a higher level and would work to ensure that KPA becomes an institution that is responsive to the expectations of the maritime industry players.
Ruto said expansion of Mombasa port and improving services would attract more shipping companies across the globe and also minimize freight costs for the benefit of stakeholders.
He says, he will focus on expansion of the country’s main seaports in Mombasa, Lamu and Kisumu through facility upgrades that will cut the time container ships must spend waiting to load or unload.
Capt. Ruto says the quality of port infrastructure and its operational efficiency plays a critical role in improving the competitiveness of stakeholders such as importers and exporters.
He says he is alive to the enormity of the task ahead and that he has a vision to fully automate port systems to conform to global industry standards.
The Port of Mombasa is the main gateway to the Eastern African region, serving a wide and rapidly growing hinterland consisting of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Northern Tanzania, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.
Ruto received a warm welcome from jubilant port workers and assured the KPA Board Chairman Benjamin Tayari of his commitment to turnaround the Authority’s fortunes by being open to constructive views from all port stakeholders.
He said he was happy to be back to a familiar territory where he had worked for more than 20 years in the operations department insisting that performance will be his rallying call.
Ruto has risen through the ranks and has held high-profile positions including General Manager (Operations) and Harbour Master.
KPA Chairman Tayari says Ruto’s appointment will assist in fast-tracking mega port infrastructure projects with the aim of repositioning Mombasa as the strategic hub port for the African continent and beyond.
“Capt. Ruto is not only qualified, but also has a wealth of experience in the maritime industry as a long-serving employee of KPA. He is the best steward to champion the restructuring of KPA to enhance robustness, efficiency and a higher degree of accountability,” said Tayari.
By Hussein Abdullahi