Ethiopia: Djibouti Hit As Ethiopia Shifts Transit Cargo to Port of Lamu

Djibouti faces a major setback as Ethiopia shifts its transit cargo operations to the Port of Lamu, providing a substantial boost to the LAPSSET project.

Last week, Ethiopia's MV Abbay II arrived at the Port of Lamu, laden with 60,000 tonnes of fertiliser, marking inaugural transit goods through Kenya's second-largest maritime hub.

This initial cargo bound for Addis Ababa highlights the growing importance of the LAPSSET initiative, amplifying its regional significance.

Ethiopia's decision in February to utilise the Port of Lamu for its shipments injects fresh breathe into the ambitious Lamu Port, previously perceived by some as dormant.

The high-level reception of the vessel at Lamu included officials from both the Ethiopian and Kenyan governments, led by Lamu Governor Issa Timamy and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Chief Executive Officer William Ruto.

MV Abbay II's arrival coincides with KPA's recent acquisition of three ship-to-shore Gantry cranes, an investment poised to enhance operational efficiencies at the commercial port.

The fertiliser consignment will undergo swift unloading and packaging at the quayside before commencing its overland journey through the corridor to Moyale town, and onward to its final destination in Ethiopia.

In a bid to decrease reliance on Djibouti, Ethiopia, a primary importer through that port, has specified that Lamu Port will handle shipments of fertiliser and livestock.

While originally conceived as Kenya's transshipment hub for neighboring countries and Indian Ocean island nations, Lamu Port regains prominence with Ethiopia's decision.

Nonetheless, the current underperformance at Lamu Port presents challenges for the LAPSSET Corridor project, which relies on vibrant business activities at the harbor.

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