A key road linking the Port of Mombasa and Moi International Airport in Kenya is to be expanded to improve the movement of freight.
The 6.4km road provides the only access to the airport and it links a container terminal at the port to the rest of East and Central Africa. It will be expanded into a dual carriageway and traffic lights and junctions will be installed to improve traffic flow at intersections. The $31m project is jointly funded by the Kenyan government and the UK Department of International Development, which is providing a grant of $11m through TradeMark East Africa. The road aims to reduce traffic congestion in the Port Reitz area, which is a major artery for the movement of cargo to and from the port. Traffic congestion in the area has been identified as one of the key non-tariff trade barriers affecting businesses in East Africa. The road between Mombasa and Nairobi (pictured) is notorious for traffic jams. The improved road is also expected to reduce truck operating costs and halve the time it takes to enter and exit the port gates.
Turnaround time for vehicles at the gates is currently four hours. James Macharia, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for transport and infrastructure, said: “Specifically, the link will serve as a key catalyst to improving the cargo handling capacity of the Port of Mombasa, in order to adequately serve Kenya’s growing economy, as well as retaining the Port of Mombasa as the preferred port of use by the neighboring economies. “This will in turn ensure economic prosperity for both Kenya and the region.” Frank Matsaert, CEO of TradeMark East Africa, said that the upgrade was a “crucial milestone in increasing access to physical markets”. “Ultimately, we want to reduce the cost of doing business and boost trade volumes, increasing the region’s overall trade competitiveness,” he said.