Kinshasa enters shipping business, set to rock EA boats

A vessel docks at the port of Dar es Salaam. The DR Congo says it has obtained yard spaces in Mombasa and Dar es Salaam to roll out offices for its new shipping line, The Lignes Maritimes Congolaises, that will start operations from June. PHOTO | AFP

The Democratic Republic of Congo is entering shipping business with eyes on East Africa’s two biggest ports in Kenya and Tanzania, signalling further intent by the bloc’s newest member to ease its importation channels.

This week, officials from Kinshasa announced they had obtained yard spaces in Mombasa and Dar es Salaam to roll out offices for DR Congo’s new shipping line: The Lignes Maritimes Congolaises (LMC) that will start operations from June.

The decision that came just about a month after the DR Congo was formally admitted into the East African Community reflects the country’s desire to tap into the benefits of being in the trade bloc, where it is now cheaper and easier to import as tariffs are headed for reduction.

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is banking on the admission of the DR Congo to the East African Community to increase its business market in the region.

LMC, the state-owned shipping line mandated with maritime transport and the operation of marine vessels in DRC, is targeting to channel more import-export cargo through the Port of Mombasa, as well as raise volumes in Dar.

The LMC delegation led by director Banze Nkulu Mulunda and other government officials agreed to open office at the Port of Mombasa to coordinate imports and exports from their country.

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