National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani reiterated the government’s commitment to building and expanding ports and shipping facilities.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by Chief Administrative Secretary Nelson Gaichuhie during the official reception of container vessel CMA CGM Blue Whale at the Port of Mombasa, the CS underscored the need for partnership with global shipping lines in expansion of maritime transport.
He noted that the expanding ocean economy requires strong collaboration and cooperation among all stakeholders adding that to claim a fair share of the ever-increasing port traffic, the government remains dynamically responsive to sustaining initiatives for efficient operations and facilitation of trade.
“It is on this basis that we have continued making huge infrastructure investments in modernizing and expanding our ports which can accommodate the latest generation of large ships. Such developments also allow shipping companies like CMA CGM to transport their cargoes at reasonable costs,” said the CS.
The cabinet secretary urged shipping lines to start bringing vessels at the new Lamu Port, saying it was strategically located with capacity to handle huge vessels of over 10,000 TEUs.
Kenya Ports Authority Acting Managing Director John Mwangemi hailed the cordial relations between KPA and shipping line CMA-CGM.
In a speech read on his behalf by the General Manager Corporate Services Edward Kamau, he noted that in the year 2020 the shipping line handled a total 171,311 TEUs in and out of the Port of Mombasa up from 120,810 TEUs.
“This represents 12.6 % of the total volume handled by the Port in 2020 and accounted for the third highest volume by shipping lines last year, up from fifth position. This is despite the global transport and supply chain disruptions occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic,” said the MD.
France Ambassador to Kenya Aline Kuster-Menager lauded the efforts and big investments of the Kenya government towards development of the Lamu Port.
Those present during the event were among others Principal Secretary for Shipping and Maritime Affairs Ms Nancy Karigithu, Principal Secretary Housing and Urban Development Mr Charles Hinga, Mombasa Deputy Governor Dr William Kingi, CMA-CGM Africa Vice President Ludovic Rozan, CMA-CGM Managing Director East Africa Jean-Baptiste Longin and Vision 2030 Director General Ken Mwige.
By Hussein Abdullahi