East African leaders discuss funding trade corridor

Kenya's President Kenyatta said they would discuss the funding issue with American investors on the sidelines of the US-African leaders summit next week.

East African leaders discuss funding trade corridor

World Bulletin / News Desk

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta discussed Thursday with the leaders of Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan the financing options for the Lamu Port and South Sudan - Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project.

"Our meeting was the latest chapter in a deepening integration agenda that is focused on opening up the region to trade and investment and ensuring that its enterprises are globally competitive," Kenyatta said after the meeting.

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalgen of Ethiopia had arrived at State House earlier to meet Kenyatta.

The LAPPSET, when completed, will link Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda via railway line, road networks, airports and Manda Bay, a port in Kenya's Lamu region.

The project is expected to foster transport linkage and give the region competitiveness in global maritime trade and promotion of international trade.

"The seven project components of the project require an estimated budget of $24.5 billion," Kenyatta said.

He noted that Lamu Port alone with its 32 projected berths will cost $3.1 billion.

Among the projects which the four states plan to fund is the Standard Gauge Railway which will run nearly 3250 kilometers in Kenya and later be extended to other neighboring countries.

Kenyatta said that with the large sums of money needed a joint approach was required to solve the funding issue.

He noted that the upcoming US-Africa leaders' summit, to be kick off on August 4, will allow the leaders a chance to engage American investors on the project.

"This being a continuation of similar engagements that are being held with investors from across the Middle East and the Indian Ocean Rim," he added.

LAPSSET was launched by Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia in 2012, before Uganda joined in.

It will open up northern Kenya to benefit from different opportunities including trade and exploitation of the recently discovered resources in the region.

The project also aims at linking South Sudan, Ethiopia and parts of northern and eastern Kenya to the ocean.

This, it is hoped, will not only foster transport linkage among the landlocked states but also boost maritime trade and international trade.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Ağustos 2014, 14:05