Kenya launches China-aided cargo scanners at Mombasa port


MOMBASA, Kenya — Kenya’s Mombasa port on Friday launched three China-aided container scanners to enhance efficiency in cargo clearance.

Speaking during the launch ceremony, John Njiraini, commissioner general of Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), said the newly-installed non-intrusive cargo scanners include two fixed units and a mobile one, which will enhance KRA’s capacity to scan all cargo of interest from a risk management perspective.

“Presently we scan about 500 containers every day and expect to increase this to about 750 containers or approximately 30 percent of all cargo with the newly-installed equipment,” he said.

Njiraini recalled his visit to China’s Shanghai and the port there. “I’ve seen how they use technology to facilitate customs process. There’s no people at the big port and all the work is done automatically,” he said, adding that Kenya will continue deepening engagement with China in utilization of customs clearance technology.

The Kenya official also expected the scanners to better facilitate business flow, clamp down on smuggling and thus generate more revenue.

Guo Ce, economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said he hoped the three advanced container scanners could help Mombasa port operate more efficiently and safely, so to drive local economic development and spur Kenya’s economic growth.

He said with the two countries’ economic cooperation deepening and expanding, areas adjacent to China-driven mega flagship projects are becoming a booming economic belt, where accelerated growth and investment have led to revitalized development in Kenya.

Guo said China’s two centenary goals mirror the aspirations of Kenya’s Vision 2030, and China will continue economic cooperation with Kenya, with the cargo scanners handover being one demonstration.

“I sincerely believe the project can bring better communications and pass down the Chinese-Kenyan friendship,” he said.