Construction of the Lamu port which is part of the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor project begins next month, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, the President of Kenya, announced while speaking at the 1st National Maritime Conference at KICC, Nairobi.
Construction on a USD 23bn port project and oil refinery in south-eastern Kenya’s coastal Lamu region began in 2012. The project also includes construction of railway infrastructure, oil pipelines, three airports and three resort cities.
The port segment project underlies expansion of the existing Lamu port, making it five times bigger by adding three wharfs.
According to Kenyatta, the port will provide an opportunity for the exploitation of the country’s maritime resources.
“Kenya’s maritime domain, which extends over 230,000 square kilometres, has not been fully tapped and this potential can no longer be ignored. Kenya has begun to realise the vision of the African Union with our huge investments in port, road and rail infrastructure development whose aim is the seamless flow of cargo. Given that the maritime industry is the carrier of 92% of our international trade by volume, and given the importance of international trade to our prosperity, the choice of investment is prudent too,” he said.
The conference has been convened to discuss and develop a national action plan on how Kenyans can benefit from their maritime resources. IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu is also in Kenya, attending the conference.
Ahead of the conference, Secretary-General Sekimizu paid a courtesy call to Michael S. M. Kamau, Cabinet Secretary of the country’s Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure.
The Cabinet Secretary informed the Secretary-General that Kenya has made significant progress in the development of maritime and economic infrastructure, especially in rail linkages to ports, in order to facilitate the movement of goods and services, while there has also been progress in developing and expanding economic activities in Lake Victoria.
Mr Sekimizu said that there was a need to establish an African Maritime Development Plan, against the backdrop of the 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy).
World Maritime News Staff