An urgent call to action has been given by Kenya to African governments to expand their ports in order to handle the bigger ships currently being built.
The alert to Africa was made to allow the continent’s ports to capitalise on the increase in global maritime trade.
Kenya Ports Authority chairman Danson Mungatana told a regional maritime conference in Nairobi that most of the African ports are experiencing between 10-12% growth.
Mungatana told various delegates at the East Africa Transport Conference: “Over the last decade, the global maritime trade has been expanding. It is expected to grow by an average 7.5% over the next six years to around 840 million TEU in 2016.”
However, Mungatana said the steady increase in ship sizes coupled with growing cargo volumes has put pressure on cargo infrastructure and terminal capacities the world over.
This is especially the case for African ports that have capacity constraints and poor transport infrastructure connectivity.
Mungatana went on to say that many European ports were on rebound after shedding the effects of the global financial crisis, and were therefore investing heavily in capacity expansion.
Mungatana concluded: “African ports must align themselves with their European counterparts in order to remain competitive.”
Currently, Africa’s share of global trade is estimated at a mere 2%.