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Lake Victoria to become a transport hub increasing connectivity in East Africa

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Located in the third largest city in Kenya, on the shores of Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake in the world, the Kisumu port is one of the key priority projects of the Kenyan government that is expected to increase connectivity in the East African Community, and in Africa in general.

Kisumu Port was built in 1901 as a part of an integrated East African rail/water transportation system allowing transportation of cargo and passengers between the countries surrounding the lake basin. The catchment area of Lake Victoria encompasses parts of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, with a population of around 35 million and a GDP of some USD 30 billion, i.e. about 40% of the total EAC economy.

The port was recently rehabilitated by the Kenyan government with construction works that included dredging operations aimed at improving navigability of big ships and the expansion of the port capacity to handle up to 4,000 containers.

Although transit cargo volumes have decreased steeply over the last decades due to the deterioration of the rail connection from Mombasa to Kisumu, local cargo demand is estimated to see strong growth during initial years following the port rehabilitation works.

Once rehabilitation of the Nakuru-Kisumu railway will be completed (works started in August 2020), cargo moved from port of Mombasa via the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) will be railed via Nakuru up to the Port of Kisumu, from where it will be transloaded on ships that will transport consignments to Uganda.

It worths noting that inland shipping on Lake Victoria represents an important node of an intermodal supply chain along the Northern and Central Corridors, two multimodal corridors linking, respectively, the Mombasa and Dar es Salaam ports to other East and Central African destinations.









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