Uhuru ​l​a​u​n​c​h​e​s​ ​M​o​m​b​a​s​a​ ​P​o​r​t​ ​C​o​m​m​u​n​i​t​y​ ​C​h​a​r​t​e​r​ ​

Government agencies that have signed the Kenya Port Community Charter will be held to account and the jobs of their Chief Executives will depend on the achievements of the targets, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

Speaking Monday when he launched the charter, the President warned that Government executives who fail to deliver in line with the charter will be replaced.

He emphasised that the public officers party to the charter will be held accountable for the performance of the port.

“It is critical that those charged with making the port efficient and effective do so if we are to achieve our development goals,” the President
said.

A year ago since the President directed that all agencies at the port be coordinated at the Kenya Ports Authority, it has been evident that good management, systems and processes have helped to reduce the time of goods clearance from 18 days to 3.5 days, less than the five days that were the target initially.

President Kenyatta said the implementation of the charter will closely be monitored to ensure every agency plays its role in boosting the port’s performance. During the occasion, the President also launched the KPA Strategic Plan and Charter Performance Dashboard that will provide the charter’s progress report online.

“We cannot let the Charter we launch today become yet another document, gathering dust deep in a forgotten office,” President Kenyatta said.

He directed all public institutions party to the charter to determine their obligations under the agreement and meet them.

“The process will include incorporating their obligations in the Charter within the annual performance contracting process for effective
evaluation,” the President said.

The charter is a single window expected to double East African trade to Sh2.9 trillion by next year.

President Kenyatta said the charter – prepared by port stakeholders with the support of Trademark East Africa – commits parties from public and private sectors to measures that will increase the efficiency of the port and the Northern Corridor.

“It also sets out, in clear detail, initiatives that we expect to play a substantial part in unlocking the trade potential of the whole region,” President Kenyatta said.

Other benefits of the charter include reduction of turnaround times in the Northern Corridor; the integration of all port community members’ systems into the Kenya National Electronic Single Window System; and the achievement of 70 per cent cargo output routed through the green channel by next year.

President Kenyatta cited the dredging of the channel to accommodate large post-Panamax vessels, the construction of additional berths and the construction of the 2nd container terminal that will double the capacity of the port as part of the Government’s commitment to preserving Mombasa’s hard-earned pre-eminence and securing Kenya’s proper place as the region’s centre.

He encouraged Kenya’s development partners and the private sector to play an active role in improving the port.

“Looking ahead, let me say that my Government remains as dedicated as it ever was to the development of the second economic corridor in the region – the set of projects that we call LAPSSET,” he said.

The President disclosed that construction of the first three berths in Lamu will begin this year.

Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau said the initiatives at the port of Mombasa are meant to improve its efficiency but not to undermine other ports in the region.

“The only port we are in competition with is the ‘port of efficiency’. You can google the meaning of that,” the Cabinet Secretary said with a light
touch.

KPA Chairman Danson Mungatana praised President Kenyatta’s directive that streamline port operations and reduced the time taken to clear goods at
the port.

He disclosed that plans are to improve the procurement system at the port to ensure public resources are used for the intended purpose.

“The days of deals and supplying air are long gone,” Mungatana said.

He commended the President for his resolve to ensure the Standard Gauge Railway is implemented despite a lot of opposition from some quarters.

Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Chief Executive Officer, Caroline Kariuki, said the Mombasa Port Community Charter will transform the
services of the port and position Mombasa as the hub and point of entry for all the Indian Ocean countries.

She singled out the Government’s efforts to reduce transport costs as a move that will significantly increase trade volumes and boost the country’s economy for the benefit of citizens.

Ms. Kariuki commended the President for giving priority to improvement of the business environment in the country.

She assured the President of KEPSA’s support as he moves to make Kenya a logistical and business hub of the world.

Other speakers include Cabinet Secretaries Michael Kamau and Adan Mohammed; Deputy Mombasa Governor Hazel Katana, Mvita Member of Parliament Abdulswamad Nassir, TradeMark East Africa Chief Executive Officer Frank Matsaert, Donor Community Supporting Development of Northern Corridor Chairman Karin Andersson and area Member of Parliament Abdulswamad Nassir
among others.