MAY 24 — Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has received continental recognition for being instrumental in the push for development of key infrastructural project in the country.
President Kenyatta has received the 2018- The Africa Road Builders -Babacar Ndiaye Trophy , for championing development of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project, Standard Gauge Railway and the building of roads in the country which connect Kenya to its neighbours.
The infrastructure projects have been termed as key in integration of the East Africa region and beyond.
“The three Infrastructure lots are seen as key drivers to the Transport and Industrial Transformation of Africa,” African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina said at the Group’s annual meeting in Busan, South Korea on Tuesday night where he presented this year’s awards.
The awards have been named in honor of the late Babacar Ndiaye, fifth elected President of the Bank who passed away in Dakar, Senegal last year, aged 85.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s award was received on his behalf by the National Treasury Director General External Resources Jackson Kinyanjui, LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority Director General and CEO Silvester Kasuku and Mrs Alice Kirenge, board member of LCDA.
The ceremony was held at the Hyatt Hotel, Busan, South Korea.
When complete, the LAPSSET project will open a whole new corridor which will complement the current main Northern Corridor which runs from Mombasa-Nairobi-Kampala into Rwanda and Burundi.
The $24 billion (Ksh2.5 trillion) project includes a 32-berth port in Lamu; transportation hubs for rail, highway and international airports in Lamu, Isiolo and Lodwar, an oil pipeline connecting the port to South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia and an oil refinery.
It also includes development of three resort cities in Isiolo, Lamu and Turkana.
LAPSSET (Port) headquarters and the port police station are already in place while construction of the first three berths is underway.
“First three berths are at 48 per cent completion rate,” Kasuku confirmed.
The SGR, whose Mombasa–Nairobi section is complete and operational is the country’s largest infrastructure project since independence.
The rail’s passenger services which commenced almost a year ago have ferried hundreds of thousands of people between the two cities, boosting tourism and trade. It has also interlinked major towns along the railway line with inter-county services.
The SGR commercial unit has also started taking shape. SGR Phase 2A project is under construction and is expected to be complete by June 2019.
On roads, the Uhuru Kenyatta led Jubilee administration has spent over Ksh260 billion on roads since it came to power in April 2013.
The government has spent about Ksh140 billion on national highways to increase the road network from 7,604kilometres to 8,500kilometres, while putting up 896kilometres of new roads.
Under President Kenyatta’s leadership, the country has also successfully implemented the One Stop Border Post initiative which has improved movement of cargo and passengers between Kenya and its neighboring countries mainly Tanzania and Uganda.
Those operational include the Busia OSBP, Taveta and Lunga-Lunga.
The government has also put in place four automated weighbridges which have reduced long truck queues , improving transit time along the Northern corridor.