PUBLISHED ON July 24th, 2014


An African Union agency has adopted the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (Lapsset) corridor among 16 flagship infrastructure projects , in what will see more foreign countries fund the mega project.

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) secretariat said Lapsset is one of the 16 projects in energy, transport and ICT which are in its Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA).

A total of 51 projects initially applied to be listed under the programme. The ranking comes as Kenya seeks foreign governments and private investors to help fund the transport corridor.

The PIDA list comes ahead of Dakar Infrastructure Financing Summit which will bring together lead government agencies, development finance institutions, private equity investors, infrastructure funds, commercial banks, pension funds, and insurance companies.


“We expect 16 heads of state attending the Dakar Financing Summit to make major breakthroughs because we don’t want to rely on donors for these high-impact projects,” Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of Nepad, said in Nairobi on Monday.

Kenyan government is spearheading the Sh2.2 trillion ($25.5 billion) project to link landlocked South Sudan and Ethiopia to the Indian Ocean port of Lamu by constructing a major highway, a railway and an oil pipeline, which would take many years.

Kenya says Lapsset corridor project will add two to three per cent to Kenya’s economic growth, but critics have reservations over the project, arguing the money would be better spent upgrading Kenya’s existing infrastructure.

The Lamu port, where tenders to build berths have been issued to a Chinese company, will ease pressure on the Mombasa port, which is the region’s trade gateway, handle fuel and consumer goods imports as well as exports of tea and coffee for landlocked neighbours like Uganda and South Sudan.

The Dar port expansion, Kampala —Jinja Road upgrading and the Ruzizi III Hydropower Project of Rwanda and Burundi are some of the regional projects being undertaken as PIDA.

In March, the cabinet cleared the Lamu port among the 56 projects to be constructed through public private partnership model.

Two weeks ago, the AfDB handed Gujarat-based Sai Consulting 15 months to assess environmental impact and design the Lamu-Garissa highway which is part of the Addis Ababa-Nairobi-Mombasa corridor.

“We spent the first decade of NEPAD planning for most of the flagship projects in our vision 2030,” said planning and devolution secretary Anne Waiguru.

“This is a stock-taking time that we must be felt on the ground through implementation,” Mrs Waiguru said when she opened a NEPAD’s meeting in Nairobi on Monday.

Source: Business Daily

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