China Eyes Kenyan Ports

Port of Mombasa

Published Oct 7, 2015 2:07 PM by The Maritime Executive

China has an ambitious called the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, which is driven to take a larger role in global affairs including increasing its export volumes. China has been focusing on Port of Mombasa and Port Lamu in Kenya to expand its vision Maritime Silk Road vision.

The Port of Mombasa is the busiest in East Africa and serves Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Port of Lamu, whose construction is underway, is part of the larger transportation corridor between Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda. When completed, the corridor will be named LAPSET and is expected to facilitate the transport of crude oil and other goods.

While China’s main initial is Asia, it believes LAPSET will eventually benefit about 63 countries duing the next 15 years.

China unveiled the “One Belt, One Road” initiative in 2013 and President Xi Jingping projected an investment of nearly $900 billion.

The project includes a network of railways, highways, oil and gas pipelines, power grids, Internet networks, maritime and other infrastructure links across Asia including trade with Greece, Russia and Oman, which will  help increase China's connections to Europe and Africa as well.

Earlier this year, President Jinping said he hoped China's annual trade with the countries involved with the “One Belt, One Road” initiative to surpass more than  $2.5 trillion during the next decade.

The Maritime Silk Road would mimic the voyages made by the ancient Chinese sailor Zheng He to Mombasa and Malindi.