Kenya Ports Authority moves cargo handling services to e-portal

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has moved its cargo handling services to the government portal e-Citizen to comply with the current administration’s target of going paperless in its transactions.

Various port users have applauded the KPA for adopting technology and going paperless in its transaction by going live on the e-Citizen platform starting Tuesday this week.

Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (Kifwa) and The Shippers Council of Eastern Africa (SCEA), who are among the main port users, said the move is within the port’s charter which advocates for going paperless.

“The move will increase efficiency as we can track our transactions and identify whenever there’s a delay. We are asking the government to move to other state agencies to make our ports efficient to reduce the cost of handling cargo,” said SCEA chief executive Gilbert Lagat.

Way to go

“This is commendable and drawing services close to digitised industry. This is the way to go,” Kifwa chairman Roy Mwanthi said.

In a notice sent to different port users on Tuesday, KPA said it has moved its cargo handling services to the government portal and that port users can access services through individual e-Citizen accounts.

“The new KPA page provides visibility into the entire chain by employing technology to digitise both the operational and payment processes, offering real-time tracking for users to see all shipments and their documentation from single access. User manual and various other simplified portal operation guidelines have been provided on the page to enable ease of use,” read the notice to the public.

To reduce user challenges, the authority has provided room for physical training to facilitate easy transition to its clients.

Digitise essential services

This is one of the moves by the Kenyan government to digitise at least 5,000 essential services to enhance revenue collection by onboarding more services to the e-Citizen digital system.

Ministries and state agencies that provide various services to the public are meeting this week in Nakuru to speed up the digitisation of the services by June this year.

The gathering brings together 77 government-owned service providers, Safaricom and other major private firms that provide web-based payment platforms as the government targets enhanced revenue collection by on-boarding more services to the e-Citizen digital system.

While opening the conference this week, Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok said that the assembling of different players was meant to ensure the digitisation drive was consultative and inclusive by factoring in unique concerns of different service providers.

Integrated payment system

“What we are aspiring for is to provide an integrated payment system that will make government services faster, convenient and user-friendly. We want a pentagon system that takes care of everyone’s interest while also moving as fast as possible to implement what the public truly deserves,” he said.

The Kenya Revenue Authority, KPA, Communications Authority of Kenya, National Cereals and Produce Board, National Environment Management Authority, Kenya National Library Services and the Kenya Airports authority are some of the main organisations expected to automate their services.

The Teachers Service Commission, the Judiciary and other key employers are also expected to make their services available online.

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