Kenya woos landlocked East Africa countries to use China-built port to boost global trade-Xinhua

Kenya woos landlocked East Africa countries to use China-built port to boost global trade

Source: Xinhua| 2022-03-01 23:39:46|Editor: huaxia

NAIROBI, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Tuesday announced that it will woo landlocked east African nations to use its China-built Lamu port to enable them to boost their international trade.

Stephen Ikua, the director-general and chief executive officer of the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Development Authority (LCDA), told a continental forum in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, that Kenya's second commercial seaport has the capacity to handle larger sea vessels as compared to the existing port of Mombasa due to its deep natural waters.

"South Sudan's vast mineral and agricultural resources can now be efficiently be exported through the port of Lamu, diversifying the country's revenue that is heavily reliant on crude oil production," Ikua told the seventh Programme For Infrastructure Development In Africa (PIDA) Week organized by the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD.

President Uhuru Kenyatta officially operationalized the first berth of the port of Lamu in May 2021.

The seaport in the Lamu archipelago is being constructed by the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and will have 32 berths in total upon completion.

According to the government, the first three berths will be financed by the government while the private sector will fund the remaining 29 berths.

LCDA said that the berth at the Lamu Port can currently handle 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year.

Ikua said that Ethiopia has heavily invested in the industrial sector with the emergence of various special economic zones (SEZs), supporting exports of finished products in the textile and manufacturing sector over and above the horticultural, livestock and mineral exports. "The LAPSSET corridor, therefore, offers an efficient alternative to support its growing export base."

Ikua said the LAPSSET corridor is Kenya's second strategic transport corridor with the first being the Northern Corridor that connects Kenya's Mombasa seaport to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He added that the project will ultimately connect the deep seaport of Lamu in Kenya to South Sudan and Ethiopia through a series of road, railway crude and product oil pipeline networks contained within a 500-meter-wide transport corridor.