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UK pledges further support towards port of Mombasa

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) sign a £23million (KES3.5 billion) grant agreement

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) have today signed a £23million (KES3.5 billion) grant agreement. The funding is targeted towards modernization work at the port of Mombasa including infrastructure investments aimed at addressing energy efficiency, speed up import and export trade handling, and minimise environmental impacts at the port of Mombasa. This additional support now brings total DFID funding towards the port to £63 million (KES 10 billion), further demonstrating UK’s support to Kenya’s development.

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Head of Department for International Development (DFID), Tony Gardner said:

The expansion of the port modernization work at the port of Mombasa will take into account environmental and social aspects and this will go a long way in complementing existing projects, and in expanding the flow of benefits to stakeholders, including the population of Mombasa and the wider East Africa Community residents.

The port of Mombasa is the gateway to East and Central Africa, serving close to 250 million people along the Northern Corridor. The funding will add to the cost reductions targets under the current Mombasa port improvement programme and will contribute to reducing carbon emissions, increasing energy technologies within the port thereby improving workforce productivity. The additional support is in response to a recent study that was conducted by the Kenya Ports Authority which recommended the need for mainstreaming of climate change and renewable energy into port operations.

TradeMark East Africa Director General David Stanton added: “The UK government is TMEAs largest investor and continues to be a key ally in promoting regional and economic integration in East Africa. This project aims at minimising environmental impacts whilst addressing energy efficiencies. This investment is among many projects that TMEA is spearheading through the UK government support at the Mombasa Port to enhance trade environment in the region since East Africa has amongst the highest freight and transport costs in the world. These costs seriously erode the marginal competitiveness of goods exported by East African countries, reducing trade, economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction

Through TMEA, UK and its seven other development partners are currently spending about US$700m (Kshs 51 billion) on reducing barriers to trade and accelerating regional economic integration in the East African Community (EAC). Improvements at the port of Mombasa are critical to increasing regional trade in the EAC with benefits that include reductions in the cost of goods of up 40%.