UK jointly funding Port of Mombasa to Moi International Airport road expansion

Reitz Road construction launch
Dr Chris Kiptoo with TradeMark East Africa's Frank Matsaert at the launch of the Port Reitz Road construction. Photo via Twitter/@Kiptoock

The UK government is jointly funding the expansion of a key road that connects the Port of Mombasa and Moi International Airport to improve the movement of freight.

The $31m project is jointly funded by the Kenyan government and the UK’s Department for International Development, which is providing a grant of Ksh1.15billion through TradeMark East Africa.

The 6.4km road provides the only access to the airport and links a container terminal at the port to the rest of East and Central Africa.

The expansion will turn it into a dual carriageway, with traffic lights and junctions improving traffic flow at intersections.

The road aims to reduce traffic congestion in the Port Reitz area, which is a major artery for the movement of cargo to and from the port.

Traffic congestion in the area has been identified as one of the key non-tariff trade barriers affecting businesses in East Africa with the road between Mombasa and Nairobi notorious for traffic jams.

Truck operating costs are also expected to be reduced by the improved road which will also halve the time (currently four hours) it takes to enter and exit the port gates.

“Specifically, the link will serve as a key catalyst to improving the cargo handling capacity of the Port of Mombasa, in order to adequately serve Kenya’s growing economy, as well as retaining the Port of Mombasa as the preferred port of use by the neighbouring economies. This will in turn ensure economic prosperity for both Kenya and the region.”

– James Macharia, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for transport and infrastructure

CEO of TradeMark East Africa, Frank Matsaert described the upgrade as a “crucial milestone in increasing access to physical markets”, adding: “Ultimately, we want to reduce the cost of doing business and boost trade volumes, increasing the region’s overall trade competitiveness.”