The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is looking to the Naivasha Inland Container Depot to handle cargo destined for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is expected to increase owing to the admission of the central African country to the East African Community(EAC).
In a meeting with the DRC envoy to Kenya, Ambassador Nyakeru John, KPA said that it had invested in the Naivasha port to cater to the expected influx in Congolese cargo.
“To cater to the needs of this key emerging market, KPA has invested in the Naivasha Inland Container Depot to ensure faster movement of DRC cargo,” read a statement from KPA.
Additionally, the port authority stated that its team was in the process of setting up a liaison office in Goma, DRC.
Similarly, DRC hinted at the possibility of setting up a consulate in Kenya.
Of notable interest, however, is that the said Naivasha Depot was decommissioned by President William Ruto last year, months after he took over the reins from his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta.
The port which was Kenyatta’s brainchild was meant to ensure guaranteed business for the Standard Gauge Railway, in order to repay the Ksh450 billion debt it had taken to build it.
Consequently, in 2019, Kenyatta transferred port operations from Mombasa to Naivasha, a move that Deputy President Ruto strongly opposed.
According to Ruto, the port was built to benefit a few individuals and would take away much-needed revenue and jobs from Mombasa residents who rely on clearing and forwarding business at the port.
It, therefore, came as no surprise when President Ruto reverted the port operations back to Mombasa Port as soon as he was elected into office in September 2022.
“This afternoon, I will be issuing instructions for clearance of all goods and other attendant operational issues to revert to the port of Mombasa. This restores thousands of jobs in the city of Mombasa,” he stated at the time.
However, this new development from KPA hints at a possible reversal of Ruto’s decree.