• The Chairman Kenya Ports Authority, Gen. (RTD) Joseph Kibwana, CBS,  EGH
  • Chairman Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) Mr. Suleiman Shabhal,
  • Chairman Kenya Ferry Services Hon. Ramadhan Kajembe,

    •        KPA Board of Directors present,

    •        Mr. Amos Wangora, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade),

    •        Invited guests, Esteemed stakeholders, Ladies and Gentlemen.

    Good Evening,

    On 18th July, we converged here to launch the first ever East Africa Maritime Awards (EAMA). Three and half months down the line we are congregating again, this time to celebrate the winners. In between, I am made to understand a lot has happened. The multisectoral organizing committee has worked tirelessly to reach out to as many stakeholders as possible, creating awareness of this new initiative in the region. Breakfast meetings have been held, telephone calls made, press notices executed, participants have toiled to make award-winning entries and finally independent judges have made decisions.

    At KPA, we have focused on providing the best experience to you - our customers. We have concentrated all our energies towards ensuring you get world-class services that surpass expectations.

    Indeed, to a large extent, we have worked hard as a team to deliver the promise. To appreciate your valuable role in our mutual endeavor, we have been periodically giving out awards to entities that have demonstrated exemplary performance.

    Whereas that was commendable, the need to elevate the awards by introducing a structured process that included the management of the awards by an independent body gained credence and traction, year after year.

    The seed that was planted several seasons ago gave rise to the EAMA. Together, we have introduced a new era of what is certain of impartiality and fairness. KPA is no longer the judge, jury and executioner!

    Accordingly, an external expert and independent entity called THINK BUSINESS was appointed competitively to execute the process. The Awards are KPA's strategic initiative in collaboration with the Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Trade Network Agency, Shippers Council of Eastern Africa, East African Business Council and Think Business Limited.

    The premise behind this award remains the same. For the industry to win recognition from other sectors we must recognize our very own in the maritime sector.

    Doug Conant, a former president and CEO of the Campbell Soup company once said:

    "To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace." 

    Ladies and Gentlemen, tonight marks the start of the winning journey. Not just for the maritime sector but the regional blue economy.  

    For those of you who have been ardent users of the northern corridor, you will agree that the maritime and logistics industry has come a long way. Gone are the days when long and manual documentation, uncoordinated multi- agency operations, infrequent stakeholder engagements, constrained yard road and rail capacity, insufficient and ineffective equipment and lack of standard business procedures were the order of the day. 

    First forward, services at the Port of Mombasa and along the northern corridor have transformed remarkably. Port stakeholders who carry the onerous task of trade facilitation are raising standards daily. The distinction between average and exemplary performance is crystal clear. The report form has numbers and numbers don't lie.

    To demonstrate this, allow me to delve on a performance that took place 48 hours ago.

    A vessel called MSC Maxine made her maiden call at the Port of Mombasa on Wednesday. Now MSC Maxine is not your normal ship. It has a container capacity of 9,411 TEUs and by all standards, one of the largest container ships ever to dock at the port. Many moons ago, such a vessel would have slowed operations at the port to a grind, as we mobilised all resources.

    So what happened this time around? (Pause)

    Well, the container operations team coordinated efficiently and eventually registered a new performance record of 1450 moves within an eight-hour shift!

    Before you applaud this performance, I am proud to say that the container operations team is now playing one notch higher. Scoring such feats with the frequency of a top striker. This is the third container operations record set within this year. The new record is an improvement of 20 % from the prior record at the Mombasa Port set in June 2018.

    (Feel free to applaud the team on this achievement)

    Although we may have not achieved our best, a spot check of the current situation at the port and along the corridor can inarguably reveal a more organized and professional logistic chain where strive towards service excellence is the end goal. Hence, we can see a culture of automated services, customer centric business approach, improved hinterland infrastructure, enhanced cargo security, modern and adequate equipment, shorter ship turnaround time, less cargo dwell time, regular record ship performance, coordinated multi- agency services, and better trained workforce among other positives.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, much as we appreciate the positive changes, we must admit that without your sustained support we couldn't have come this far. Hence tonight, we feel humbled to express our gratitude by awarding some of you for your contribution towards these achievements.

These awards will create a vital platform that allows the industry to commend and encourage others to replicate these good practices, therefore achieving compliance on a larger scale.


Ladies and gentlemen,


It should also be noted that these awards are aimed at giving all of us an opportunity to learn from each other's strength and improve on our weaknesses so as to move our industry forward. To quote the famous words of Aristotle, "In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action."


Thank you and God Bless.