Iko Wapi Mizigo Yangu?: Doing Logistics In East Africa

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November 1, 2016

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Photo by: sidoman.com

If you often watch Churchill Show on Sundays or on YouTube, you’ll hear ‘Professor’ Hamo mention during his gig; “Njoni kwangu,  ninyi nyote  msumbukaona wenye kulemewa na mizigonami nitawapumzisha.”  We in the logistic industry holistically approve this message.

According to Trading Economics reports, Imports in Kenya decreased to 117321 Million KES in July from 127320 Million KES in June of 2016.

The report further states that, Imports in Kenya averaged 64446.86 Million KES from 1998 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 162942 Million KES in November of 2015 and a record low of 13453 Million KES in January of 1999.

Such reports for Imports in Kenya is reported by the Central Bank of Kenya

Kenya Imports

Similarly, as per the same reports, Imports in Tanzania decreased to 896.40 USD Million in July from 1003.40 USD Million in June of 2016.

Imports in Tanzania averaged 836.45 USD Million from 2006 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 1399.30 USD Million in December of 2011 and a record low of 89.30 USD Million in March of 2006.

Moreover, the report further mentions the Friends of Tanzania in the Import markets.

Tanzania imports mostly transport equipment, machinery, constructions materials, oil, fertilizers, industrial raw materials and consumer goods.

Main imports partners are: China, India, South Africa, Kenya and United Arab Emirates

Similarly, Imports in Tanzania is reported by the Bank of Tanzania.

Tanzania Imports

Conversely, the East African Community (EAC) where Kenya pretends to be the leader does exports notwithstanding. However, it’s wise and prudent to note that cheap products from China are taking up these export position to our neighbors.

According to the Economic Survey, 2015, presented by the Ministry of Devolution and Planning indicated that the value exports to East African community (EAC) from Kenya to Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi hiked from KES.101.3 billion in 2010 to KES.137 billion in 2011.

The following year total exports fell to Sh134.9 billion. It fell further to Sh125 billion in 2013 before it marginally grew to 125.8 in 2014.

Yes, I know East African is synonymous with Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, or precisely if you like it the coalition of the willing, therefore allow me to pull out Uganda from the woods.

Imports in Uganda slumped by 20% year on year to $447.7 million in August of 2016.  It’s noted Imports in Uganda averaged 255.42 USD million from 1993 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 672.80 USD million in December of 2015 and a record low of 44.20 USD million in August of 1993, according to Trading Economics survey.

Of course, Imports in Uganda is reported by the Bank of Uganda.

Uganda Imports

From the era of price tagged clothes glanced from a glass- to this era of everyone literally importing, it’s always getting trickier to do imports.

With current staff protest against increased  prior un-communicated tariffs by Kenya Revenue Authority in Mombasa, you’ll need to have extra skills dealing with flippant custom officers and in between seriously annoyed customers most of which will obviously yell at you without consideration of the situation: “iko wapi mzigo yangu?”

How to respond to that is up to you. Iko pressure!


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