European Investment Bank extends loan to Kenya to bolster activities at Mombasa Port
The port is currently serving most of the East Africa's landlocked countries. Competition from the neighboring Tanzania is gaining tract.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has already received a request for funding from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA). The request for a loan is already being processed. A grant for the similar project is also being worked on.
TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) country director Ahmed Farah said although a final decision had not been reached, there are high level negotiations going on and was optimistic the funding will come through, a local daily reported Friday.
“At the moment what we could say is that a loan of $180 million (Sh18 billion) is being processed while a grant of $20 million (Sh2 billion) is being considered. TMEA is assisting with the processing procedures and we expect a decision will be made soon,” Mr. Farah told journalists
“The funds will be used for the ongoing modernisation of berths 11 to 14. We are also working closely with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in a project that will involve replacing the Simba cargo clearance system with a new one,” he added.
On his part, head of the EU Delegation Alessandro Tonoli said the economic bloc, through the EIB, was interested in supporting projects at the port aimed at increasing efficiency and facilitating trade.
“Mombasa Port is the gateway to East Africa and runs the economy of the region with a population of over 200 people and efficiency at the facility is critical and to achieve this we have identified projects for which funding is being processed,” Mr. Tonoli said, adding that the finances may be channeled through TMEA.
Already TMEA is funding the construction of the cruise terminal that will cost Sh100 million. Cruise ship tourism is yet a new form of tourism gaining tract in the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa. Security agencies at the coast attribute the boom in the sub sector to the improved security.
Earlier, the United States and Britain had issued travel advisories to her citizens amid rising terrorism threats the militant Somali-based Al Shabaab was causing in the region.
This comes barely a month after the grand launch of a Sh350 million cruise ship handling facility. The state-of-the-art facility is projected to ease congestion and also replace Mombasa Port Shade 1 and 2 commissioned in 1926. The terminals have been handling cruise liners.
Meanwhile, the port of Dar es Salaam got a shot in the arm early this week when the World Bank extended a 305 million dollar loan, Tanzania’s local dailies report. The loan, according to a source at the port is purely for expansion.
The port of Dar es Salaam serves the landlocked countries of Malawi, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda. It is a freight linkage not only to and from East and Central Africa countries but also to middle and Far East, Europe, Australia and America.
Kenya’s port of Mombasa and Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam port have been contesting for the dominance in the region based on the efficiency.
The port of Mombasa currently handles millions of tons of imports and exports especially for the manufacturing and agricultural sector.
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