Mombasa County government and Somaliland are seeking collaboration to explore the potential of Mombasa and Berbera ports.
Governor Hassan Joho and Somaliland’s envoy to Kenya Bashe Awil Omar, during a meeting, discussed harnessing the strengths of the two ports.
Plans are on course for the expansion of Berbera Port to provide an alternative shipping and trading hub in the Horn of Africa after securing a $442 million (Sh44bn) deal with Dubai-based development firm DP World.
“Our goal is to see the two ports work together to enhance trade ties, improve their capacity and share areas where we can both benefit. I am so happy to hear about the planned expansion of the port of Berbera. This is good for the region and it will definitely spur trade along the East African coastline,” Mr Joho said at his office.
Mr Joho noted that the project will open up the region, enhancing trade.
Mr Omar also said the collaboration will facilitate constructive trade ties between the two parties.
“Mombasa port is the busiest in the region and we hope to learn from them and also share what we can offer. We have offered to share areas we are strong in, especially in livestock trade, and we invite traders at the Mombasa port to explore their areas of strength and work with Berbera port,” Mr Omar said.
The envoy said Mr Joho has been invited to Somaliland for benchmarking, pointing out business links with the United Arab Emirates and Ethiopia.
He added: “The governor invited me so that we can discuss how our two cities can trade. We know Berbera Port and Mombasa port share so much historically and they can both benefit from their strategic locations.”
The county boss welcomed Somaliland maritime students to study at the Government Training Institute in Mombasa.
Somaliland, which broke away from Somalia in 1991, is striving to initiate diplomatic and trade relations with neighbouring countries as it pushes for recognition at the African Union and the United Nations.