The Government has expressed commitment to improving infrastructure with the the aim of opening up Kenya’s economy to neighbouring countries. Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli said the Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport ( Lapsset) corridor project and the Standard Gauge Railway would expand the economy and spur trade between Kenya and its neighbours.
Mr Muli said Kenya and other countries in the region were poised for major economic development following the discovery of minerals, oils and natural gas. There was, therefore, need for proper infrastructure – a good transport network and efficient port services. In a speech read on his behalf by the Director General of National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) Francis Meja, Muli said the Government supports maritime transport as a major contributor to trade development. He said the Government was aware the continent could not develop its intra-continental trade to reach the vast market presented by its huge population if there was no transport connectivity. And to ensure the country opens its borders, the Government is planning to make the northern corridor a dual-carriage road from Mombasa to Malaba.
“It is for this reason the Government recently commissioned the Voi-Taveta road to link the Mombasa port with its hinterland of northern Tanzania and Burundi through Holili,” said the PS in his speech. He said the Lapsset project was an attempt by the Government to open up the northern frontier to enhance trade with neighbours like Ethiopia, South Sudan and beyond. He said the Government was finalising settlement issues around construction of the first three berths in Lamu.
“We know the great potential this project has for the country and the region and that’s why we must make it a reality soon,” said the PS, who promised his ministry would continue to support the Kenya Ports Authority in developing port infrastructure. He said prudent business practices required that huge volume of cargo being transported 500km and beyond could only be carried by sea or rail economically. “This way, we can keep transport costs down. It is in this regard that the Standard Gauge Railway is a priority. Once complete, the railway will transport about 200 Teus per train to Nairobi and beyond. This will eliminate congestion at the port and increase business,” said Muli.
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
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