A shipping line from the Democratic Republic of Congo plans to start its operations from Mombasa beginning June this year.
The state-owned shipping line, the Lignes Maritimes Congolaises (LMC) seeks to channel more DRC imports and exports cargo through the Port of Mombasa.
A delegation from DRC led by the shipping line director LMC Dr Banze Nkulu Mulunda agreed to open an office at the Mombasa port to coordinate imports and exports from their country.
“After a discussion on operational and logistics issues with KPA container terminal principal operations officer Michael Bokole and his team, we have agreed to start our operations from Mombasa starting next month. This will help in creating more jobs and business opportunities not only for DRC but to Kenya,” said Dr Mulunda.
Mr Bokole welcomed the delegation, saying it was a big milestone in the integration of DRC into the EAC community and bolstering trade opportunities.
“The DRC recently joined the EAC community bolstering trade opportunities among member states who are keen to increase intra-EAC trade and benefit from the common market. Their coming to Mombasa will increase both import and export of goods through the port,” said Mr Bokole.
During the visit by DRC team, they agreed LCM will be responsible for collecting royalties from shipping lines that carry cargo to and from the DRC.
As the country expects to increase its business after joining EAC community on April this year, LMC has adequately addressed the issue of storage, traceability and security of its products.
DRC comes into the bloc with a huge market of 90 million people and the potential to contribute to an expanded market and investment opportunities to boost the EAC common market.
Already, Kinshasa has bilateral and multilateral cooperation arrangements with EAC partner states in various areas, including customs, infrastructure and productive and social sectors.
The DRC is a member of various regional organisations including the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African, the Economic Community of Central African States, the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries and International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.
At the continental level, it is a member of the African Union, while at the global level it is a member of the United Nations and has ratified most of its affiliated instruments.