Northern Corridor nations are keeping a careful eye on developments in Kenya’s political climate.
Northern Corridor nations are keeping a careful eye on developments in Kenya’s political climate, fearing that interruptions would harm the supply chain along the transit route, which is still recovering from the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Northern Corridor connects Kenya, Burundi, the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda.
Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa), the country’s umbrella body for all private businesses, has stated that it will collaborate with security agencies under the ‘Mkenya Daima’ initiative to deal with any post-election threats along the corridor that could cause Mombasa’s port to lose business to Dar es Salaam.
“So far, we haven’t seen any evidence of interruptions, but we’re keeping an eye on things,” Kepsa CEO Carol Kariuki explained.
Kenya’s Ministry of Trade and Industry has said that there are no indicators of a potential interruption along the corridor as a result of the upcoming elections.
According to the Northern Corridor Quarterly Performance Dashboard (October–December), member states’ exports to the rest of the world grew by 10% in 2021 compared to 2020, and are expected to climb further in 2022.
In 2020, overall commerce along the corridor was estimated to be about $ 3.17 billion, with formal trade between Kenya and Uganda accounting for 32%, followed by trade between the DRC and Rwanda accounting for 19.1% of total trade within the area. Kenya was the country’s single biggest exporter.
According to a report prepared by the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority, transit times on most routes along the Northern Corridor worsened in the three months leading up to December 2021, with the transit time from Mombasa to Malaba increasing to 230 hours from 146 hours, owing to numerous stops and border crossing delays caused by Covid-19 testing.
The average ship turnaround time at Mombasa’s port fell by 34% to 79 hours compared to the same period in 2020, whereas the average Container Import Dwell Time increased to 97 hours from 76 hours in November 2021.
Total cargo via the port fell to 31.9 million metric tons in 2021, down from 34.1 million metric tons in 2020 and 34.4 million metric tons in 2019.