The introduction of the multi-agency concept of operation at all Ports of entry into Kenya has led to reforms that are bearing fruit in terms of efficient logistics, revenue growth and promoting regional integration.
The rollout has ushered in a new era in the border management regime, and further builds on Kenya’s efforts to modernise its ports’ operations by setting up of One-Stop Border Posts (OSBP) at the points of entry; a move intended to minimise obstacles to facilitate free movement of goods and services.
This approach was set in motion in August 2020, when President Uhuru Kenyatta signed an Executive Order merging operations at Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) and Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC). The order provided the guideline for the management of the agencies under the umbrella of Kenya Transport and Logistics Network, and to be coordinated by the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation.
This merger is among the reforms initiated by the current administration to ease inter-agency collaboration. Since the implementation of the changes at KPA, there has been a rise in revenue collection has been manifesting. For instance, in the financial year 2020/2021, profit is expected to go up. KPA has so far realized increased profit by more than KShs3 billion. Statistics show that the total capital and reserves have almost doubled in the past year.
These changes have in addition positively impacted Customs revenue for December 2020 which was the highest ever monthly revenue collection in KRA’s history, amounting to KShs60.777 billion. This registered a revenue surplus of KShs12.191 billion. KRA reported that this resulted in a cumulative surplus for Customs revenue of KShs3.788 billion at the end of December 2020 compared to a deficit of KShs8.402 billion by the end of November 2020.
The observed revenue growth is consistent with efforts by the government to cement inter-agency collaboration, over and above individual agency efforts. Revenue leakages at KRA for instance, have been curbed through the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System, the Integrated Scanner Management Solution Command Centres at Times Tower, and the alignment of shipping lines to Inland Container Depot operating hours. The launch of the revamped Kisumu Port is expected to aid in uplifting port revenue collection.
In January 2021, President Uhuru Kenyatta undertook to assess the readiness of the Kisumu Port, and affirmed that the docking yard will have a capacity of 10 big ships.
The government has ensured that Kisumu Port is in operation following the completion of construction of Phase One.
Additional infrastructure expansion includes projected construction of a new terminal at the Port of Mombasa to handle approximately 1.732 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) up from the current 1.42 million TEUs by 2023.
The project is under a Japanese company. KPA is also working round the clock to complete the Kipevu Oil Terminal 2 which commenced in February 2019. The facility is expected to house additional four berths.
The commitment of President Kenyatta to provide an environment for economic growth is unparalleled, as he continues to push for synergy among port stakeholders such as Kenya Bureau of Standards, KPA and KRA to enhance trade efficiency.
With inter-agency collaboration concept firmly in place, buttressed with clear, harmonised legal and bureaucratic procedures, the government’s goal of making Kenya a centre of excellence in EAC trade facilitation and investment destination in the region is well on course.