Kenya moved up 32 places in a World Bank ranking to become the second-most efficient African country in moving goods across borders.
According to the latest Logistics Performance Index (LPI), the country is in position 42, up from 74 in what is perhaps the global lender’s approval of the Government’s efforts to improve the ease of doing business.
The country comes second to South Africa in the index that ranks logistics in160 countries .
Kenya’s LPI score of 3.33 puts it ahead of economies like Russia, Brazil and Argentina. The report attributed this positive performance on “strong political will” and implementation of administration reforms in the region.
“Relatively rapid improvements can also be achieved regionally if countries have a strong political will and align their efforts in implementing administrative reform. This is the case, for example, for the Northern Corridor that links Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda with the Port of Mombasa in Kenya, and also serves eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Tanzania,” said the World Bank in the report.
Germany was ranked best overall with a score of 4.23, while war-torn Syria sits at the tail-end with a score of 1.60.
However, in the World Bank’s East of Doing Business 2016, Kenya’s performance in trade across borders remained unchanged compared to its performance in 2015.
Trade agency Trademark East Africa (TMEA) has said the modernisation of the Port of Mombasa and creation of One Stop Border Posts at Malaba, Busia and Taveta would reduce the average time it takes to import goods from 11 days to 3.8.
Meanwhile, visiting Burundian Transport Minister Jean Bosco Ntunzwenimana was full of praise for Kenya Ports Authority’s (KPA) efforts to enhance the clearance of goods from Mombasa.
The minister said the ongoing construction of a 1,545km alternative route to Bujumbura — Mombasa-Voi-Taveta-Moshi-Arusha-Singida-Bujumbura — would reduce the distance to the Burundian city from Mombasa by 358km.
“We are working towards promoting good working relations between the Port of Mombasa and the Port of Bujumbura so that we jointly bolster trade in the region. The road between our capital and DRC is undergoing a facelift which will enable us facilitate and increase trade along the northern corridor,” Mr Ntunzwenimana said.
Burundi’s cargo through Mombasa is pre-dominantly clinker, motor vehicles and tea for exports.