• Open season

    Open season

    East Africa’s Central Corridor trade route is once again open for business – after being largely dormant for the past decade.

    According to an Asoko Insight report, Kampala’s Port Bell received a 900-ton visitor for the first time in more than 10 years – a Tanzanian cargo ship named MW Umoja – which sailed from northern Tanzania’s Mwanza port on Lake Victoria. The 68 800 km² lake, the largest in Africa, is shared between three countries – Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

    The Central Corridor route is an alternative for traders importing or exporting goods through the Northern Corridor, which links the Kenyan port of Mombasa to landlocked Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. The port between Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam and Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC is linked through the Central Corridor by rail, road and inland waterways.

    According to Abubaker Ochaki, Uganda Railways Corporation head of operations, the cost to deliver 1 ton of cargo from Dar to Kampala is US$65, while the same weight costs US$90 on the Northern Corridor. ‘We want to tell our clients that both routes are now feasible,’ says Ochaki.

    10 July 2018
    Image: Alamy