Thursday, 25th April 2025: The East African Business Council (EABC) webinar on corridor performance and its impact on EAC businesses underscores the importance of public-private dialogue and trade facilitation agencies in ensuring the efficiency of transport corridor performance.  The webinar revealed that the average Freight Cost in 2023 from China to the Port of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam for a 20ft container is USD 2188 and USD 1975 respectively.

Officiating the webinar, Ag. Secretary-General of the East African Community, Annette Semuwemba Mutawe, stated that the operationalization of the EAC Single Customs Territory and 15 one-stop border posts has reduced border delays and trade costs for businesses. She applauded the EAC Heads of States for their deep commitment to infrastructure development to increase competitiveness, trade, and economic development of the bloc. She revealed that the EAC Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure is set to take place this year.

In his remarks, Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, EABC Executive Director, stated, “Transport corridors are the lifelines that connect landlocked countries to major seaports, boosting intra-regional trade and fostering economic development.” He highlighted inadequate transport connectivity and non-tariff barriers impacting transit time and corridor performance. Mr. Kalisa called for Public-Private Dialogue to improve competitiveness and efficiency of EAC transport corridor performance.

In her presentation on the East Africa Logistic Performance Index, Miss Pauline Ukwalu from the Shippers Council of East Africa (SCEA) stated that in 2023, road transport rates per container per km from Mombasa to Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, Goma, and Juba were (USD) 1.88, 1.97, 2.50, 3.0, and 2.60 respectively. The high cost of road rates against the global benchmark of 1 USD results in a high cost of doing business in the EAC, impacting investment.

She explained that the Average Ship Turnaround Time at The Port of Mombasa is high at 79 hours, above the global benchmark of 24 hours. In 2022, the transit time to Busia and Malaba was 77 hours and 80 hours respectively. This is against the Mombasa Port and Northern Corridor Charter target of 40 hours and 45 hours from Mombasa to Malaba and Mombasa to Busia respectively.

Mr. Emmanuel Rutagengwa from the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA) stated that Dar es Salaam Port efficiency enhancements have resulted in Ship turn-around time reduced from 7 to 2.5 days, Cargo dwell time decreased from 22 to less than 7 days, Truck turn-around time shortened from 4.3 to 2.3 hours, and Cargo throughput raised from 13.6M tonnes in 2016 to 24.0M tonnes in 2023. He stated Central Corridor Standard Gauge Railway Programme aims to actualize the Tanzania-Burundi-DRC extension as well as Isaka-Kigali SGR extension.

Mr. Denis Lewa Muganga from the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Authority (NCTTA) stated that Mombasa port throughput is at 35 million tons in 2023. The corridor exports 13% and imports 79%, hence the need for investments to boost exports.

Dr. Merian Sebunya, Chairperson of the National Logistics Platform, Uganda, stated that the high cost of transport and inadequate infrastructure hinged impact businesses. She proposed for public trade facilitation agencies to jointly work with the end goal of increasing performance of EAC corridors.

The webinar convened 100 stakeholders including trade facilitation agencies, manufacturers, transporters, importers, exporters, freight forwarders, and shippers across EAC and beyond. Key challenges highlighted include lack of multimodal transport, Disparity in levying Road User Charges (RUC) across the Partner States, Numerous Road Stops along the Corridor, Unharmonized Implementation of the Vehicle Load Act 2016, lack of inter-connectivity of Customs systems under Single Custom Territory (SCT), Unharmonized standards across East Africa- packaging labeling, Lack of full implementation of trade facilitation initiatives.

Published On: May 2nd, 2024 / Categories: Highlights, News, Policy Updates, Private Dialogue News /