NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s
main port of Mombasa is expected to handle 23 million tonnes of
cargo in 2014 up from 22.5 million tonnes in 2013, a government
official said on Wednesday.
Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli
told Xinhua in
that the growth will come from the increased exports from
’s mining sectors.
“We are also expecting more traffic
, South Sudan, as well as eastern Democratic Republic of
Congo,” Muli said on the sidelines of the Conference on the
Political Economy of Maritime Africa in the
The one day event brought over 100
participants from ten
countries to review ways of increasing trade and security in the
He said that the
handles over 90 percent of all
’s international imports. Muli added that concerted efforts by
the international community have reduced the prevalence of
piracy on the
“The region has gone through a lot of
challenges,” he said. He noted that during the peak of
piracy, over 400 hostages were held in
in some 47 ships.
“The menace affected the safe passage
of cargo and passenger carrying vessels,” he said. The PS
said that the vice not only affected localized seaborne
traffic, but became a bottleneck to world trade with severe
and long lasting damage to the global economy.
“In addition, the region’s small
scale and industrial fishing industries were almost brought to
a standstill,” he said.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau
is deeply committed to the ongoing process of developing and
strengthening economic cooperation in the
Kamau emphasized the need for increased
intra-trade among the countries on the
“What we have witnessed in other
regional groupings should teach us the importance of moving as
quickly as possible towards tangible commitments in pursuit of
economic and trade collaboration,” he said.
The cabinet secretary said that the
collaboration should take place within an increasingly open and
competitive system of trade and investment.
“The stunning economic success of
South East Asia
is compelling evidence of the success of open systems,”
Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala
said that natural resources, politics and economics are
intertwined. He said
that the significance of oil in the economic development of the
world over cannot be under estimated.
“The recent explorations and
discoveries of oil and gas in the eastern
region, offers great potential for partnerships,” he said.
“I am therefore, urging member states
of the Indian Ocean Rim to take advantage of the opportunities
available and cooperate in establishing ways of exploring such
resources,” Balala said.
“We must be fully proactive in
combating the blight of piracy by ensuring that as much
involvement as possible is undertaken on the ground,” he
said. The cabinet secretary called for maximum support to be
given to the newly established governance structures in
’s High Commissioner to Kenya Geoffrey Tooth said that
’s future lies in the indo-pacific region.
Tooth, who is also the Chairman Indian
Ocean Rim Association (IORA), said that the region’s stability
is therefore important globally.
“Unfortunately, when the association
is compared to other regional bodies, it has only delivered
modest outcomes,” he said.
The Australian government has so far
contributed approximately 1.2 million U.S. dollars for projects
aimed at promoting the IORA.
Indian Ocean Rim Association Secretary
General Kocheril Bhagirath said that the region has abundant
agricultural wealth coupled with significant human resources and
“Many of the countries of the Indian
Ocean Rim are increasingly becoming globally competitive,”
“The ongoing development of new
capacities among member states should be jointly harnessed
through regional cooperation,” he said.
The Indian Ocean Research Group Chairman
Professor Dennis Rumley said that the
rim is home to roughly two billion people who live in some of
the most dynamic and fastest growing economies.
“It is also a massive market rich in
strategic and precious minerals and metals,” he said.