LAPSSET corridor

AfDB proposes transport infrastructure financing

​The African Development Bank Logo

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is to partner with the government of Kenya in the implementation of the ambitious Lamu Port and Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) project, which is also of critical importance to many neighbouring countries.

This was revealed following a recent meeting between President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya and the Bank’s president Donald Kaberuka in Nairobi.

According to local newspapers, Kibaki noted that the project required massive resources for successful implementation and among the frontline countries expected to reap benefits include South Sudan and Ethiopia.

The key project has seven components that include construction of the Lamu Port at the Manda Bay; construction of railway line from Lamu to Isiolo; Isiolo to South Sudan and Isiolo to Ethiopia; the construction of airports at Isiolo, Lamu and Lake Turkana and the construction of highways from Lamu to Isiolo; Isiolo to South Sudan and Isiolo to Ethiopia.

African Development Bank is currently supporting various national and regional projects in the Kenya with a total commitment of US$1.8 billion  in essential sectors of the economy.

The Bank has supported the execution of the Nairobi-Thika superhighway to the tune of US$186 million.

Kaberuka expressed willingness to work out a framework with the government of Kenya and reach a concrete agreement over the implementation of the massive LAPSSET project.

Speaking during the meeting, Kaberuka said AfDB is happy with Kenya’s focus on infrastructure saying it is a sure path to future growth.

He said Sub-Sahara Africa’s growth prospects depended on a strong economic come back by Kenya, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe adding that the next polls were critical to the country’s future.

He said the Bank is following the LAPSSET project closely and would be keen to participate in the investment conference to attract investors.

“LAPSSET is a complex project in terms of financial engineering and we are keen following it,” he said, according to the Daily News.

(sub head) Another call for harmonised border procedures
Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA), a multi-donor funded agency which provides support for increased regional trade and economic integration in East Africa, has again called for operations of all agencies working at border posts to be harmonised to easily facilitate the easy movement of goods and persons at their borders.

The call was made during a recent one-day workshop on the establishment of the Integrated Border Management Concept and presentations on the final design of the Kagitumba One Stop Border Post facilities.

Delegates were told that some of the state agencies based at border posts normally include immigration, revenue authorities, police and standards agencies and that they  were apparently operating independently causing delays of up to 30 minutes.

The workshop was organised by TMEA in collaboration with Rwanda Revenue Authority and  attracted different participants drawn from different agencies from Uganda Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda.

Although the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) has been introduced at some borders of the EAC member countries, they are yet to yield the expected results as traders still encounter some challenges.

According to Richard Tusabe, the deputy commissioner general of Rwandan Revenue Authority and also in charge of customs services, regional countries still grappled with the problem of trade barriers at the borders of Nemba (Rwanda-Burundi) and Gatuna (Rwanda-Uganda), which have operational One Stop Border Posts. The introduction of Integrated Border Management would help increase the volume of business among partner states.

Negotiations on a roadmap to harmonise the operations of agencies are expected to end this year, according to officials from the Rwanda Revenue Authority.

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