Kenya's main port, Mombasa, handled 10.6 percent more
cargo in the first nine months of this year, helped by an
expansion of its handling capacity and a new railway system, the
port's management said on Monday.
Activity in east Africa's biggest port is considered a measure of
economic activity for the region. Mombasa handles imports such as
fuel for Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and eastern
Democratic Republic of Congo.
The increased traffic comes despite prolonged tensions over an
election in August which was nullified and then rerun in October.
Mombasa handled 22.8 million tonnes of cargo between January and
September compared with 20.6 million in the same period last
year, Catherine Mturi, the port managing director, said.
Imports accounted for 19.3 million tonnes, up from 17.4 million
in the same 2016 period, an increase of 10.4 percent.
It handled 2.8 million tonnes in exports, up 3.2 percent on the
2.7 million tonnes in the same period last year.
Transit traffic increased by 8.5 percent to 6.5 million tonnes
from 5.9 million. Uganda remained the biggest transit market,
accounting for 81 percent of all transit cargo.
Last year Kenya commissioned the first phase of a second $300
million container terminal that provides an additional
cargo-handling capacity of 550,000 TEUs (20-foot-equivalent
units) per year.
Construction of a second phase is scheduled to start early next
year and will provide additional capacity of 450,000 TEUs, said
By Maggie Fick and Robin Pomeroy