he volume of the transit cargo passing through the port of Mombasa in 2020 grew by 2% to realize 10.171 million tonnes against 9.947 million tonnes handled in 2019, according to the Transport Observatory Report released recently.
Transit traffic for Rwanda, South Sudan and DRC registered tremendous growth by 85%, 37% and 34%, respectively, while Uganda recorded a 5% decline and Burundi 1%.
However, Uganda remained the biggest transit market with a volume of 7.6 million tons compared to 8.1 million tons handled in 2019. In 2019, Mombasa port handled 770,000 metric tons for South Sudan, which increased to 1.056 million tons in 2020.
Rwanda volumes almost doubled from 231,000 tons in 2019 to 427,000 tons in 2020. Tanzania cargo volumes almost stagnated recording 255,000 tons and 253,000 tons in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
The report attributes the growth of transit cargo in 2020 an intensive multi-agency sensitization campaign to promote the use of the new and shorter transit routes from Burundi, DRC and Rwanda to the port of Mombasa, including the use of the SGR Cargo from Mombasa to the Naivasha Inland Container Depot carried out in mid-December 2019 by the Northern Corridor Secretariat enjoining the Public and Private Sector Stakeholders from the Northern Corridor Member States of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Rwanda.
The other reason was a sustained Multi-Agency Stakeholders and Rwanda Business Community concerted efforts to enhance the efficiency at the Mombasa port and Northern Corridor Transit nodes aimed to complement KPA’s day to day interactions with the Rwandan business community through KPA Kigali Liaison Office since 2013.
“The Business community get personalized, real-time and immediate support to services and queries within Rwanda without necessarily having to come to Mombasa, reducing the cost and time of doing business,” the report noted.
The impact of SGR Cargo from Mombasa to Naivasha and economic growth before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic also encouraged Rwanda Business Community to commit to increased use of the Port of Mombasa, translating to increased transit cargo in 2020 compared to the previous years.
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