Plans have already been set in motion for the construction of the Dongo Kundu SEZ berth, the first of its kind, in Mombasa. This will be the first multi-purpose berth that will serve the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zones in the region. The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) officials insight that construction is at an advanced stage and is set to roll out soon. The project is to be developed under a public-private partnership arrangement. It is expected to cost at least $340 million (Sh55.4 billion). The construction of the berth is a critical component of the wider Dongo Kundu SEZ. It is a Vision 2030 project that aims at developing a free trade zone. It will also entail a free port and industrial zones. Furthermore, it will open up the Coast and create numerous employment opportunities.
The Scope of the Dongo Kundu SEZ Berth Construction Project
The Dongo Kundu SEZ berth is a master plan that will place a special economic zone and a free port in place. The project is being developed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It is a key partner in the development of projects that take place at the Port of Mombasa. According to the Kenya Ports Authority, the berth will be 300 meters in length. It will also hold a depth of minus 15 meters which will enable it to hold large vessels. The project is being developed on a 3000-acre land as it will comprise a free port. It will also have industrial parks and free trade zones as part of its scope. Furthermore, more developments such as logistics and warehousing and even energy project areas are being taken into consideration. The area will be a mixed-use development center that will ensure diversity and inclusion.
The Significance of the Berth Project
The Dongo Kundu SEZ berth project will have an enormous impact and significance as it will boost trade and spur economic growth. This will be facilitated by the expansion of manufacturing, growth of exports as well as opening up the coast to traders. This will position Kenya as a trade and logistics hub for the Eastern and Central African region. It will also provide numerous job and employment opportunities that the country seeks to find for its youth. The Dongo Kundu SEZ berth project is part of the government’s plan to construct special economic zones. Others include the Naivasha SEZ and the Lamu Special Economic Zones. The Kenyan government also has plans for the Kenani Leather Park in Athi River to boost manufacturing and exports. This is amid the efforts to significantly cut down on the massive importation.
The Uniqueness of the Dongo Kundu Project
The Dongo Kundu SEZ berth project is unique in the country as it is the first of its kind to break ground. It also entails the partnership of both local and international-based companies. The Tanzanian firm (Taifa) is putting up a Sh20.8 billion LPG facility with a capacity of 30,000 tonnes. It is expected to shake up the cooking gas industry in the country which a few individuals and multi-nationals have dominated. The Kenyan government hopes that Dongo Kundu will attract more investors as it pushes the Special Economic Zones initiative. The government has offered this as incentives to companies taking up space at the facilities such as exemption from excise duty