At Kenya’s deep water Lamu Port that links its vast northern region and neighbouring nations to the sea, the first ships docked.
At the commissioning ceremony for the first berth on Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta said two more berths will be completed by the end of this year, completing the first phase of construction.
“Lamu Port is strategically located in the middle of major shipping routes,” Kenyatta further stated.
The Indian Ocean port which is the country’s second deep water facility and transport corridor is hoped to attract cargo destined for neighbouring landlocked nations and offer transshipment services.
It is also expected to reduce pressure on the existing Mombasa-Nairobi transport corridor, which serves landlocked Uganda and Rwanda.
The idea for the construction of the port was first raised in 1972. The construction proper that began in 2014 is being built by a Chinese company for $3 billion; it will take several more years before completion.
Several roads are being built from Lamu towards the East African borders with Ethiopia and South Sudan.