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Abiy, Kenyatta note significant progress in Lapsset actualization

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Thursday, December 10, 2020

Lamu youth working at the Lapsset project | Credit | Cheti Praxides

Kenya and Ethiopia have reported significant progress in the actualization of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport Corridor project.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed visited the Lamu port on Wednesday to inspect the ongoing construction of the new 32-berth.

Eighty-six percent of the construction of the first berth is said to be complete and the other two berths are progressing well.

According to the Ethiopian prime minister, the Lamu Port will benefit Ethiopia and South Sudan as part of the efforts to integrate the Trans-Africa Highway network.

Dr. Ahmed stressed that without ports and road connectivity, it would be difficult for the region to export their products or import from other countries.

He underscored the importance of infrastructure and economic integration, saying it would be hard for countries to survive in the 21st century without good infrastructure.

“This will help us to realize our vision which we have already been discussing and working on for economic integration of our region and the transformation of the lives of our people,” Dr Ahmed told Eye Radio.

For his part, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta they have already embarked on the development of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor, which is being developed to complement the Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa Road Corridor.

He announced that by end of October 2021, he will invite the Ethiopian Prime Minister and the President of South Sudan to commission the First Three Berths of the Port of Lamu.

The Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport Corridor Programme was launched in March 2012 by President Salva Kiir, former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, and the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

The project will comprise roads, railways, ports, pipelines and special economic zones, to be implemented in two phases, starting with the Lamu-Isiolo-Addis Ababa to Djibouti by road and rail.

In January, South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia have agreed to jointly source funding for their infrastructure projects under the umbrella of the African Union.

The three neighbouring countries plan to mobilize millions of dollars to build infrastructure linking their economies.

They also agreed on joint budgetary allocation during last week’s meeting attended by the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development, Raila Odinga.

On Wednesday, Raila stated that the mega project, which is the anchor investment for the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport corridor and its supporting infrastructure will open up and expand regional economies.

He added that this will create much-needed wealth and employment opportunities.

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