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Kenya's tourist hub Mombasa ranks as Africa's emerging city

Kenya's tourist hub Mombasa ranks as Africa's emerging city

Date : 2022-07-14 11:28:00

The African continent boasts of having many upcoming commercial centers promoting Kenya Tourism. These cities have created a buzz in both domestic and international business sectors. Many of these forthcoming economic zones are based in East Africa. With their fast-developing business infrastructures and untapped potential, these business hubs are poised for expansion and are attracting a lot of startups and investors. Mombasa is one such city that represents the economic dynamism of East Africa.

Lying on the Indian Ocean coast, Mombasa has long been a beach destination in East Africa, attracting tourists for its classic sun, sea, and sand vacation. Mombasa has been home to bustling beaches and romantic resorts. Mombasa is also close to the coastal Shimba hills reserve, ideal for safari day trips. Mombasa is East Africa's biggest and most cosmopolitan port. It has a blend of India, Africa, and Arabia, which is uniquely enchanting. It is essentially a melting pot of languages and cultures from all sides of the Indian Ocean and a hot destination for Kenya tourism.

SEZ's in Mombasa to boost overall economy:

  • Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in Mombasa are projected to create millions of direct and indirect jobs that will attract significant investors and spur the economy in the region. The SEZ project will cement Mombasa's regional strategic and commercial location. It could bring possible solutions to social and economic challenges grappling local population. The SEZ is developed on 3000 acres of land. It is expected to have critical facilities: a free port, free trade zone, logistics zone, industrial park, and a mega road network. The project can create 100,000 jobs and attract significant domestic and international investors to set up key industries. The setting up of a mega trading facility will enhance the position of Mombasa as a regional, commercial, logistic, and shipping hub.
  • Mombasa's location attracts a lot of shipping to its port, like how it attracts visitors opting for Kenya tourism. Setting up industries in Mombasa has numerous advantages. Being connected by sea, land, and rail, the region will want to overcome certain shortcomings to take full advantage of the SEZ project. There is a need to review utility bills and taxation to attract investors to Mombasa. Many industries and investors had to rebuff their plans to move to Mombasa because of high electricity bills and other tariffs. Kenya has grown when it comes to ease of doing business, but critical factors like streamlining cargo handling and predictability of tax regimes require further improvements. There are also talks of bringing down the corporate tax as it brings a lot of compliance.
  • Authorities are reviewing freight levies and streamlining cargo handling to improve efficiency in the logistic and shipping operations at the Mombasa Ports to attract more ships and Kenya city tours. Efforts are being made to revive Kenyan shipping lines. Places like Ethiopia, which has no port, have many ships, something the Kenyan authorities would want a chunk off. Food security is another critical component Mombasa would look keenly on. The region needs to tap into the chain of the fishing industry to satiate the issues of creating more jobs and creating better food security.
  • Mombasa officials have also cited the importance of providing the youth with favorable job opportunities to be busy with their work and earn a living. This will reduce the need for them to engage in nefarious activities and subsequently abolish juvenile crime groups. Criminal groups have posed a severe threat to the business environment, particularly Kenya tourism. Insecurity is a significant hindrance in promoting Mombasa city. For Mombasa to be a good business hub, the work environment needs to be conducive. Authorities are working towards finding fruitful solutions to help Mombasa become a thriving business hub. Efforts such as engaging security agencies, clergy, and community elders are being opted to find lasting solutions. The African Continental Free Trade Area treaty has generated interest among regional investors to venture into Mombasa and bring in more tours in Kenya.

Mombasa Port to become trade hub:

  • The development of frontier markets has led to ports playing an increasingly pivotal role. All industries heavily rely on ports as they are the beginning and end of the supply chain. The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) will have strong intentions to expand the infrastructure of the Mombasa port to cement its position as a regional gateway and be favorable for Kenya holiday packages
  • Mombasa, Kenya's second-largest city, is a gateway to East and Central Africa. Recent developments in Mombasa include the government's involvement in prioritizing the Mombasa port development project. The government has allotted $69 million this fiscal year, and the project features a Free port and Special Economic Zone. It will consist of a new terminal, roads, and upgraded rail.
  • Significant challenges at the Mombasa port have been increasing congestion and high ship turnaround time. The other challenges include low cargo handling productivity, a shortage in berths designated for bulk cargo, and an inadequate water depth to birth high tonnage vehicles, hindering Kenya Tour Package.
  • Kenya has invested $380 million to ensure the free movement of cargo from Mombasa to other parts of Africa. The amounts were invested in the standard gauge railway system to evacuate cargo to the Nairobi inland container depot and Naivasha container depot.
  • Efforts are being undertaken to connect the Malaba border and the meter-gauge railway from Naivasha, linked to the SGR. The government has opened up the port city by investing more in roads and bridges. These projects include the 28 km Dongo Kundu highway that connects Miritini and Kwale County. These two bridges alone cost $28 million and are hugely favorable for Kenya tour packages.
  • The authorities have adopted a port harbor channel to accommodate larger vehicles. The standard gauge railway (SGR) has linked the port for timely cargo evacuation, and construction of a second terminal was completed. An integrated maritime strategy is adopted via Mombasa Port to guarantee convenient services and performance along the port's transport corridor.
  • Mombasa port has recorded tremendous growth, and there has been a positive growth of 3.3 percent that has reached 34.55 million metric tons (MT). This has significantly grown from 30.55 metric tons (MT), which was previously recorded in 2017, and more people are also opting for Kenya holiday package. The port has witnessed growth and handled 1.4 million TEUs (twenty-foot containers) in 2021. Previously it was recorded at 1.1 million TEUs in 2017. With the inauguration of the second container terminal, Mombasa port will have the capacity to handle 2.1 million TEUs.

Future Trends:

• The latest shipping trends can establish Mombasa as a regional trade hub and promote Kenya tourism.
• The Africa Free Continental Trade Area (AFCFTA) is gaining traction. It will promote a significant increase in traffic flows across every transport mode: rail, road, maritime, or air.
• Mombasa Port can market itself as a critical maritime hub for Eastern and Southern African regions.
• Business opportunities exist in connecting East and West Africa. Mombasa can play a pivotal role in developing this network.
• Relying on goods being sourced internally will have a paramount role in reducing carbon footprint.
• Under the Northern Corridor, Transit and Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA) infrastructure are being developed to connect Mombasa to the Atlantic port of Banana in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which will cater to higher Kenya sightseeing tours.
• Under the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP), Mombasa leaders support plans to construct Sh 8.5 billion Special Economic Zone.
• Under the country's blueprint Kenya Vision 2030, Special Economic Zones in Mombasa were identified as drivers of the economy in the region, and an increasing number of Kenya holiday package.
• Dongo Kundu area was identified as the ideal for developing Mombasa's SEZ.
• Around 2,000 people will be resettled on 357 acres of land. Those resettled are primarily from - Dongo Kundu, Mwangala, Mrongondoni, Kaya Mtongwe, Mbuta, and Siji villages.
• The Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) will compensate for potentially displaced structures such as residential, commercial, non-residential, agricultural, religious, institutional, educational, storage, cultural, and security buildings and water-related facilities totaling 2,585 structures.


Mombasa's strategic positioning has the potency to spread its economic benefits and bring visitors as part of Kenya tourism. Efforts to improve efficiency in facilitating trade, increasing revenue collection, and the general ease of doing business have pushed Mombasa to the pedestal of socio-economic growth. Mombasa has recognized the importance of a conducive environment where traders can operate and thrive. Facilities are being promoted to encourage trade among young people. For instance, the installation of modern kiosks has opened newer avenues for employment amongst youth, women, and the disabled. Various initiatives have also been undertaken to promote investment in Mombasa with various foreign governments and various chamber of commerce offices. Infrastructure development projects have included tarmacking Biashara street to provide an effective transport system for business people using that road. Mombasa has also undertaken modernization of retail markets to install modern stalls. Efforts are also being made to convert Mombassa into a smart city by enhancing the investment environment and building a suitable environment for Kenya Holiday packages.


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