The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has launched its strategic plan for 2018-2022 at a time the Blue Economy has become the new frontier for economic development in the country.
The strategic plan was launched at a ceremony held at Prideinn Paradise Beach Resort in Mombasa and attended by stakeholders from the maritime and shipping sector.
KPA’s strategic plan 2018-2022 is aimed at guiding the authority’s strategic direction over the next five years.
The plan describes the means and strategies that will be employed in pursuit of creating world class ports of choice and strengthening Kenya’s position as the maritime transport gateway to the East and Central Africa.
In developing the plan, the focus is on the customer and KPA will concentrate on strategic investments to modernise existing facilities in tandem with future industry demands.
KPA Managing Director Dr. Daniel Manduku says the key focus in the five year plan will be customer care in a bid to make operations ‘easier, faster and convenient for customers to access efficient port services’.
He said the plan takes cognizance of the fact that the global ports and maritime industry is fast evolving heralding a new era of port operations and management.
Dr. Manduku said the last strategic plan 2013-2017 witnessed major developments in port infrastructure and improvements in port performance.
The KPA MD said the strategic planning is grounded on sustainability, visibility, predictability, reliability and security of port systems.
He said notable infrastructure developments included completion and operationalization of phase 1 of the second container terminal and expansion of the Inland Container Deport in Nairobi.
‘Expansion of port entry and exit gates and yards and full installation of integrated port security system were also implemented in the last five years,’ he said adding that KPA is alive to the fact that ports must keep up with changes.
He said KPA aims at aligning its policies and projects to the governments Big Four development agenda of food security, manufacturing, universal healthcare and affordable housing.
Dr. Manduku said in terms of port performance container traffic grew from 894,000 TEUs in 2013 to 1,189,957 TEUs in 2017 while total throughput grew from 22.3 million DWTs in 2013 to 30.3 million DWTs in 2017 representing compounded growth of 7.4 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.
He said one of the key drivers of change has been the shipping industry which is continuously changing through innovations and new inventions.
‘Smart and green port operations, sustainable infrastructure development and innovative funding options are among the newer areas of focus’ he said.
He said ship sizes have been growing, with possibilities of further creation of larger marine vessels.
He said the 20,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) vessels have become a reality and soon we expect even bigger vessels of up to 50,000 TEUs capacities.
The KPA MD said further shifts in port operations include private sector participation, creation of hubs and matters of cooperation as opposed to competition.
On the Blue Economy initiatives the authority seeks to invest in the development of small ports that will be specialised in various activities such as fishing.
‘We shall be supporting other initiatives that will include incentives for vessels employing locals and modernisation of dockyard facilities to be able to undertake repair of vessels.
On his part Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Chris Obure said the strategic plan is expected to drive the national government’s Big Four agenda.
He said the government will support all the initiatives of the strategic plan to ensure its successful implementation by continuing to improve road and rail network to ease transportation of goods from the port to the hinterland.
Obure said the development and strategic plans in the public sector is a critical pillar in the Results Based Management adopted by the government since 2004.
He said the overriding goal of introducing this mode of management was to realign public sector performance to focus on outputs and outcomes rather than inputs and processes.
By Hussein Abdullahi