“In the old days, the containers stayed in the port of Mombasa for more than 11 days. Now the goods are moved almost twice as quickly,” explains Samuel Helu who works in the Mombasa office of TMEA, Trademark East Africa, which supports the modernization of the port. The improvements mean lower costs and they benefit the entire East African region. Many of the landlocked countries are dependent on the ports of Mombasa in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
Over the last few years, economic growth in the East African countries has been more rapid than in Europe. TMEA has helped to boost the flow of goods between countries. On the one-stop border posts, all the necessary formalities are jointly managed by the countries involved. This also helps small entrepreneurs living in the border areas as they now have easier access to the markets on the other side of the border. TMEA also supports the development of trade legislation, electronic systems and competitiveness of companies in the countries belonging to the East African Community. Finland supports the work of TMEA from its development cooperation funds.
Foreign companies also benefit from the regional development. For example, in the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, the containers are moved by Finnish-made cranes.
Photo: Juho Paavola, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta