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INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Dubai Ports deal needs clarification

In Summary

• Dubai Ports World manages 10 percent of the world's container traffic

• Mombasa port faces increasing competition from Dar-es-salaam and other ports

The Port of Mombasa.
The Port of Mombasa.
Image: FILE

Speculation flourishes in a vacuum. There may be nothing fundamentally wrong with the proposal to work with Dubai Ports to manage the Mombasa, Lamu and Kisumu ports but dockworkers and others are complaining about a lack of transparency.

If Mombasa Port wants to maintain its status as the main entry point to East and Central Africa, it needs to up its game. DP World handles around 10 percent of global container traffic at 82 marine and inland terminals around the world.

Working with DP World would be one way to develop Mombasa port which is why the government in 2015 decided to explore the possibility of a partnership. If it is mutually profitable, why not?

Moreover Kenya wants DP World to invest in container services at Mombasa and cold chain logistics in Naivasha and Kisumu. You cannot expect an investor to pay for new infrastructure without a guarantee of long-term management.

However employment at Kenya Ports Authority and sovereignty at Mombasa are very sensitive issues at the Coast. The government should certainly do more to explain what is happening with DP World to dockworkers, importers and other interested parties.

Quote of the day: "There's no possibility of being witty without a little ill-nature."

Richard Brinsley Sheridan
The Irish playwright died on July 7, 1816

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