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Kenya: Lapsset Gets Continent’s Full Attention After AU Backing

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Nairobi — The Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project status has moved a notch higher after admission as a Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI) project under the African Union (AU) Commission.

The project will now enjoy the attention of the Heads of State from seven African countries on New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC), required to account on progress and bottlenecks after every six months.

The Vision 2030 transport infrastructural project joins other 51 projects identified for development by 2040, touted to enable improved interconnection and integration while bridging the continent’s extensive infrastructure gap.

By Margaret Wahito

“The achievement is indicative of the government’s commitment to implement the project and open up of vast parts of our country and region and also presents a realistic and solid opportunity for the delivery of the LAPSSET projects while conferring the country a lifeline for economic growth support,” LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority CEO Silvestre Kasuku said.

The project has been endorsed by the Programme for the Infrastructural Development of Africa (PIDA), a $360 billion initiative by the African Development Bank, African Union Commission and NEPAD.

The new status also provides incentive for governments involved in LAPSSET and their implementing agencies to access financing and establish Public-Private Partnerships agreements for project advancement.

The Sh2.2trillion ($24.5 billion) worth LAPSSET encompasses seven components including the 32 berths Lamu Port, Standard Gauge Railway line, crude oil pipeline, product oil refinery, resort cities and airports between Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

The project will also create a trans-boundary link between Lamu and Doula, Cameroon, to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

“We as Kenyans should be excited that the world is vindicating our development plan and that Kenya’s global competitiveness is now on a growth trajectory, effectively confirming that Vision 2030 is happening,” Vision 2030 Director General Prof Wainaina Gituro noted.

The LAPSSET corridor project is expected to bring economic benefits in less than ten years to both the country and the region.

According to feasibility studies, project like LAPSSET will register High Economic Interest Rates of Return (EIRR) of between 17 percent and 23.4 percent compared to acceptable industry minimum standard of 10 percent for infrastructure projects.

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