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Transport Sector Profile of Kenya

Transport Sector Profile of Kenya

Transport Sector Profile of Kenya

The transport sector in Kenya is a very vital sector as it supports a rapidly-growing economy as envisaged in the Kenya Vision 2030.  The sector grew by 8.8% in 2016 compared to 7.1% in 2015. Therefore the Government will continue to sustain and expand the on-going public investments in road, rail and air transport subsectors.

Road subsector

The medium term strategy

The strategy is to expand, modernize and maintain the road transport in order to have an effective, efficient and secure road network in addition to strengthening the institutional framework for road development and accelerating the speed of completion of road construction projects, and stepping up road transport safety and regulations.

FY 2017/18 Program

The Government has earmarked to construct 1,138km of low volume seal roads to enhance rural connectivity, 1,768km of new roads and 41 footbridges, rehabilitate 224km of roads, and maintain an additional 36,225km of roads to facilitate efficient movement of goods and people. The government will also priorities the construction of major roads under the East African and Transport Facilitation Programs and the South Sudan – East African Regional Transport, Trade and Development Facilitation Program.

Decongest Nairobi City

The Government plans to decongest Nairobi City through the expansion of Outering Road and Mombasa Road section dual carriage way. The Government will also fast track the construction of Ngong Road, the improvement of road junctions and construction of missing-link roads and non-motorised transport facilities.

Achievements in roads subsector

Great progress has been made in the road construction and rehabilitation which include construction of new roads, rehabilitation and maintenance of existing roads. The major achievements include the construction of 1,194km of new roads, rehabilitation of 523km of existing roads, and maintenance of 149,604 km of roads.

Water transport

Boosting regional trade

The Government will prioritize the advancement of the LAPSSET project implementation on the first three berths at the port of Lamu and the construction of major roads under the East African and Transport Facilitation Programs and the South Sudan – East African Regional Transport, Trade and Development Facilitation Program.

Railway Transport

The Government is committed to development and management of an efficient and safe railway transport.  The construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Mombasa to Nairobi which is n is expected to be completed by mid-2017. The Construction works for the second phase (Nairobi – Naivasha section of 120kms) of the SGR project was officially launched by the President on October 19, 2016. This extension will link special industrial zones that would be established in Naivasha, home to the Olkaria geothermal power plants, to Nairobi and Mombasa.

Water Transport

Port of Mombasa

The Government has made good progress on reforms and modernization of the port of Mombasa including the expansion of the container terminals and cargo handling and storage that has reduced significantly time to clear cargo. The first phase of the second container terminal with the capacity of handling fourth generation vessels of 60,000 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) capacity has been completed. The Kipevu Oil Terminal will be relocated to allow for expansion of the container terminal.

The above developments together with the integration of the single window system with other related systems will facilitate faster, efficient and competitive clearance of cargo. At the end the project, the port of Mombasa will be positioned as a preferred hub in Eastern and Central Africa.

Other commercial ports

The Government plans to develop several commercial ports within the next 5 years, including the Lamu Mega Port, Kisumu Port as well as other smaller but highly developed ports along the coastline.

Air Transport

Kenya aims to entrench her position as undisputable regional aviation hub by expanding, modernizing and managing the aviation sector.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

The screening yard and security toll gate at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has been completed.

Other Airports

The rehabilitation work at the five airstrips (Nanyuki, Ikanga, Lodwar, Embu and Malindi) and expansion and modernization of Isiolo and Kisumu airports are ongoing.

Focus in FY 2017/18

The Government will further scale up the on-going airports expansion and modernization; commence work on the JKIA Second runway for completion by end of the year 2018. The Government also plans to commence the expansion of the Eldoret International Airport to enable large cargo planes to land and position it as a transport hub.

Regulatory framework

Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development.

The functions of the State Department of Transport are as follows;

  • Transport policy management
  • Maritime transport management
  • Rail transport and infrastructure management
  • Civil Aviation Management and Training
  • Oversight and Coordination of Lamu South Sudan Ethiop Transit Corridor (LAPSSET) Programme Implementation Programme
  • Registration & Insurance of Motor Vehicles
  • National Road Safety Management
  • Motor Vehicles Inspection
  • National Transport Safety
  • National roads development policy management
  • Mechanical and transport services
  • Enforcement of Axle load control

Institutions under State Department of Transport

  • Kenya Railways Corporation
  • Kenya Railways Training School
  • Kenya Ports Authority
  • Kenya Airports Authority
  • East African School of Aviation
  • Kenya Civil Aviation Authority
  • Transport Licensing Board
  • Transport Licensing Appeals Board
  • National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA)
  • Kenya Ferry Services
  • LAPSSET Authority

Air Transport

Air transport is managed by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) that operates nine major airports nationwide, including 3 international airports, and 250 airstrips around the country.


  • Poor Quality of Transport Services
  • Inappropriate Modal Split
  • Unexploited Regional Role of the Transport System
  • Transport System Not Fully Integrated
  • Urban Environmental Pollution
  • Lack of an Urban/rural Transport Policy
  • Institutional Deficiencies
  • Inadequate human resource capacity

Information under the transport sector of Kenya is organized as follows;

Kenya Transport Sector Profile
Road Transport
Water Transport
Air Transport in Kenya
Railway Transport
Pipeline Transport