Over six months of operating in Rwanda, the country office for the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is now ready to be launched according to the company’s Principal Corporate Communications Officer, Haji Masemo. He told Hope Magazine that tomorrow July 19th is when the official function will be held at the company’s office in Kigali.
The regional function is expected to attract presences of dignitaries including Kenya Government Minister for transport, top executives from KPA including the Board Chairman and Managing Director of the company in addition to Rwandan officials like the Minister of Infrastructure who are expected to grace the function.
The launching of the Kigali Office for KPA, which Masemo identified as a liaison office for the company’s clientele in Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern Congo, comes after having some time of operating from the premises of Kenya Embassy in Kigali.
“Opening a separate and more equipped office resulted from our observations while we worked from the Embassy. For instance the demand for the services we are offering has been swelling day to day thus creating a more spacious and equipped place to better serve the customers is essential,” he offered.
KPA offices in Kigali to date, offer a link to Mombasa for local importers which is in the spirit of facilitating trade and enhancing regional development. While traders in the past had to travel all the way to Mombasa to monitor the progress of their goods, having the Rwandan office offers the convenience to execute all the required work without incurring extra and unnecessary costs.
According to Masemo, traders from Rwanda and in neighboring markets that KPA’s Rwanda office targets to serve were mostly challenged by lack of knowledge regarding port procedures which factor at times resulted into exposure to conmen in Mombasa who would cheat them.
With the office in place, traders will be able to get correct and up to date information on the port procedures in addition to commanding for support in dealing with the procedures from KPA officials.
Ultimately the goal for KPA in getting closer to Rwandan traders is to facilitate them to conveniently handle their goods through Mombasa and the future as anticipated by Masemo is brighter.
“For instance in the next six months following the launch of the Office, KPA aims to facilitate traders to pay their port fees from Rwanda and immediately have them reflected in Mombasa. This will add to the convenience of trading in a harmonized region.”
The launching event is scheduled for Friday July 19th and will begin with a visit of the office followed by a cocktail in Serena later in the day. It is planned to kick off at 2:30pm at KPA’s Rwanda office in the Grand Pension Plaza on the sixth floor.
Currently it is estimated that more than 300,000tons of goods destined for Rwanda go through the Mombasa port annually.
However besides remitting port fees and taxes, traders face challenges in clearing the goods until they are delivered to them at times loosing unnecessary funds in the process. Addressing such bottlenecks is included in what the new KPA office in Kigali aims at; offering the services in Mombasa from Rwanda at the same cost.
In the near future with the current trends of technology in business, it will be a possibility that one can order for their goods online, have the documents for the purchase ready, hand them over to the KPA offices who would handle the clearing part until the goods are loaded and delivered in Kigali without trader going through the trouble of unnecessary costly business trips.