KENYA – President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya has launched the operationalization of the first berth of the new Lamu Port, marking a major milestone for the regional US$23 billion Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor project (LAPSSET) launched in 2012.
MV Cap Carmel, a Singaporean container ship, docked at Lamu on its way from the Port of Dar es Salam in Tanzania to Salalah in Oman.
“As a critical pillar of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project, this Port will connect South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Eventually, it will connect northern Kenya to the Middle Belt of Africa, which runs from Dakar, Senegal in the west to Lamu in the east,” President Kenyatta said.
The President noted that Lamu Port is strategically located at the convergence of major shipping routes, saying its operationalization will open up northern Kenya to international trade, thereby fortifying the country’s position as a top economic gateway to Africa.
President Uhuru Kenyatta
“With one of the deep-water harbors on the east coast of Africa, Lamu Port has the potential to become a premier transshipment hub for all cargo destined for the continent. Furthermore, Lamu now joins Mombasa Port as a key entry and exit point of cargo, deep into and out of Africa’s hinterland,” he said.
The Kenyan President said Lamu Port reflects Kenya’s boldness and clarity of vision as it strives to become a prosperous and newly industrialized, middle-income country by the year 2030.
He added that Lamu Port and LAPSSET form an integral part of the broader connectivity the Government is establishing through the Kenya Transport and Logistics Network (KTLN), an ambitious infrastructure blueprint that seeks to seamlessly link the country’s ports through railways and pipelines.
“In the next phase of LAPSSET, Lamu Port and northern Kenya, will be connected by rail and pipeline links, which will eventually reach Ethiopia, South Sudan and other regional States, with the final stop being Dakar in Senegal,” the President said.
“Lamu Port is intended to serve the upper Northern region of our country. The whole objective is to ensure the issue of marginalization is dealt with once and for all,” President Kenyatta said.
He also pointed out that the seaport is of great significance to the East African Community and the African Union, as evidenced by the participation of South Sudan and Ethiopian leaders during the launch of LAPSSET in 2012.