News & Information



09
April
2020

Keep Trade and Cross-Border Transport facilitated


By: TTCA
Summary/Brief
At the Northern Corridor Secretariat, we understand the difficult situation our Corridor finds itself in and we fully support the national, regional and international measures being taken to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread. Our top priority in this unsettling time is to ensure continuous supply of essential goods including medicines, fuel, and food is fully facilitated along the Northern Corridor and at the same time limit the spread of COVID-19.


The COVID-19 pandemic struck when the Northern Corridor region was performing well. In the period January-December 2019, the Port of Mombasa recorded 34,439,264 tons with a growth of 3,515,976 tons or 11.4 per cent compared to the 30,923,288 tons registered in the corresponding period in 2018. 

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The Port of Mombasa

Overall share of intra-Northern Corridor trade has been increasing over the years. For instance, in 2018, intra-Northern Corridor trade grew by about 2 percent for Burundi; 13 percent for DRC; 33 percent for Kenya; 14 percent for Rwanda and 38 percent for Uganda.

Before the pandemic, Transit times had improved on most routes along the Northern Corridor suggesting that interventions are being implemented to facilitate cargo movement. Weighbridge crossing time also improved as a result of implementation of High Speed Weigh-in-Motion.

Now the “new normal” we are seeing low arrivals of ships at the Port of Mombasa and cancellation of voyages as countries tightened travel to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Long Distance Drivers Association also is claiming that its members are taking longer to deliver cargo and return empty containers to the ports, as drivers cannot move during the set times of curfew in some Member States.

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Transit cargo awaiting to cross to Uganda from Kenya

In this time of global crisis, as the UNCTAD’s Secretary-General; Mukhisa Kituyi said, “it was more than ever before necessary to keep supply chains open and to allow maritime trade and cross-border transport to continue. Transit needs to be facilitated too. Landlocked countries need access to food and medical supplies through neighbouring countries’ seaports. Shipping and ports hold the world economy together. They connect countries, markets, businesses and people, on a scale not otherwise possible”.

At the Northern Corridor Secretariat, we understand the difficult situation our Corridor finds itself in and we fully support the national, regional and international measures being taken to flatten the curve for COVID-19 spread.

Our top priority in this unsettling time is to ensure continuous supply of essential goods including medicines, fuel, and food is fully facilitated along the Northern Corridor and at the same time limit the spread of COVID-19.

In line with measures announced by the six Northern Corridor Member States of Burundi, Kenya, DRC, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda, on mitigating the impact of the virus within the Corridor, the Northern Corridor Secretariat reiterate steps it is taking in assisting and advising Member States and all Stakeholders to observe the safety measures such as limiting  the spread of the COVID19 through cross- border transport, facilitating the implementation of National COVID-19 measures such as national lockdowns, facilitating flow of essential goods such as fuel, food, medicines and other essentials, limiting unnecessary and mass movement of passengers across borders, harmonizing and coordinating national COVID-19 policies, regulations and response measures, and above all, keeping inbound and outbound movements of transit and Cross border transport in the member states’ territories.

Together, we shall overcome.

 

 





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