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The East African : May 5th 2014
The EastAfrican BUSINESS MAY 3-9,2014 EASING MOVEMENT OF GOODS Cargo clearance system to save $150m Elect≥onic ca≥go clea≥ance will ≥educe dwell time at Mombasa po≥t to th≥ee days By MUTHOKI MUMO The EastAfrican K enya has launched a paperless cargo clearance system that is expected to save the economy millions of dollars by reducing the time and cost it takes to move goods across the region. The rollout of the Electronic Sin- gle Window System, also known as the Kenya Tradenet System, will cement the country’s position as the gateway to East Africa by making it easier and cheaper for traders to move their goods around the region. Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda officiated at the launch at a Nairobi hotel. Tanzania and Burundi sent government representatives. Clear cargo With the amount of cargo com- ing into East Africa through Kenya rising each year, the different systems used by the government to clear cargo have often been blamed for the long delays at the port of Mombasa. According to the Economic Sur- vey 2014, cargo handled at the port went up 1.8 per cent to 22.31 million tonnes in 2013. It takes an average of seven days to complete the clearing process. Kenya hopes to drastically cut this dwell time. “With the Electronic Single Win- dow System in place, we intend to progressively reduce the cargo dwell time at the port of Mombasa to a maximum of three days and at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to one day so as to significantly ease the cost of doing business in the region,” said President Kenyatta. HOW IT WORKS Cargo at the Mombasa port. A new electronic clearance system is expected to reduce dwell time at the port to three days. Picture: File It is estimated that once it is fully operational, the system will save Kenya between Ksh13.03 billion ($150 million) and Ksh21.72 billion($250 million) per year within the first three years. This is expected to rise to between Ksh26.1 billion ($300) and Ksh39.1 billion ($450 million) . President Kenyatta said that the $150m By ADAM IHUCHA Special Correspondent A LAND DISPUTE threatens Tanzania’s plans to expand the Kilimanjaro International Airport. The $47 million makeover plan covers refurbishment of all runways, taxiways and passenger lounges. But the project, among other developments under the Kilimanjaro International Airport. Picture: File new airports integrated master plan, faces opposition from a group of residents who claim ownership of the land on which the project is to be undertaken. “We are called squatters, but the airport found us in this area,” said KIA ward leader Sinyok Ole Nairuko. He said that about 10,000 residents in Tindigani, Mtakuja, Sanya Station and Majengo villages would be affected, should a planned eviction be carried out to pave the way for the airport’s renovation. Data shows that nearly 9,000 acres of the total 23,000 acres designated for the airport’s expansion are occu- system will be integrated with the government’s planned electronic payment system to cut down the corruption that is associated with the payment of fees at ports of entry. The system currently integrates 24 government agencies, and various payment modes, including mobile money transfer services and 24 commercial banks. Ultimately, East African coun- The least amount in savings the new system will save the Kenyan economy in the first three years tries hope to launch a single window system that will cover the whole region. Rwanda in August 2012 became the first East African Community country to launch a single window. The system will give traders a single platform on which to lodge cargo clearance documents. From this system, information can be shared with various government agencies, including the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (Kephis), the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KeBS) and the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA). Tanzania and Uganda are work- ing on similar initiatives and the EAC Secretariat is spearheading a project to integrate all these systems. Land dispute stalls ai≥po≥t expansion pied — threatening the safety of the airport. Officials say that thousands of local residents, from both districts of Arumeru in Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions, have illegally settled at the airport estate. Compensation In 2002, the Kilimanjaro Development Company (Kadco) estimated that Tsh480 million ($300,000), was needed to compensate the squatters. But the government said the amount was too high. Kadco’s new master plan aims to convert the 110 square kilometre area around KIA into a modern duty-free shopping city that would compete with Dubai. The KIA area, strategically placed between Arusha and Moshi towns — hubs of the northern tourism circuit — is to become a “city” where investors are to establish shopping centres, tourist hotels, duty free shops, export processing zones, curio shops, golf courses and a large game ranch. 43 ATM system needs mo≥e la≥ge banks By BERNARD BUSUULWA The EastAfrican AFTER SIGNING up Centenary Bank in February this year, Interswitch, the Ugandan interbank switch operator, has reported a dramatic rise in monthly transactions and is now seeking to enlist other large banks considered critical for commercial survival. Interswitch East Africa, a sub- sidiary of Interswitch Transactional headquartered in Nigeria operates a network that links different banks to enable their customers to share automated teller machines (ATMs) and point of sale (POS) services. Centenary’s presence on the banking switch has increased overall networked ATMs to 279 from 133 last year, with around one million clients served by the platform during the same period. The number of financial institutions registered on the switch rose to 38 in February. The entry of Centenary Bank, which boasted 146 ATMs, 61 branches and a customer base of 1.3 million by last year, was a turning point for the switch operator, which had long struggled to attract major industry players to its platform. Latest figures compiled by In- terswitch indicate total monthly transactions recorded on the platform rose five times at the end of March compared with January. Total transactions recorded on the platform were 1.4 billion at the end of January but increased to 1.8 billion by close of February. By end of March, total transactions had reached five billion, a record high in Interswitch’s operating history, with the company projecting similar robust activity in April. Interswitch attributed the growth to advertising campaigns promoting Centenary’s participation in the switch and late school fees payment by parents rushing to beat first term deadlines in March. While the advertising cam- paign seemingly prompted many non Centenary customers onto the platform to take advantage of its vast network, fairly high numbers of Centenary clients exploited partner ATMs located in strategic urban zones for transactions, observers say. Interswitch is already counting on these gains to boost its marketing pitch to other big banks. “Though we anticipate higher growth in April, we foresee more stable transaction patterns after May, due to falling excitement among users. Negotiations with leading banks that include Stanbic Uganda, Stanchart Uganda, Crane Bank and Barclays are still ongoing but we are optimistic about signing another big player before the end of this year,” said Olumuyiwa Asagba, Interswitch’s chief executive officer.
April 28th 2014
May 12th 2014