M a r k e t N e w s

Kenya's Infrastructure Projects On Track, Set To Have Huge Economic Impact

Posted on : Tuesday, 9th August 2016

The Kenyan government's infrastructure projects are on track and are set to have a huge impact on the country's economic growth, says Infrastructure and Transport Cabinet Secretary (Minister) James Macharia.
The Minister, who singled out the Standard Gauge Raiway (SGR) project, said Monday that the multi-billion-dollar project, which is 88 per cent complete, had already contributed to 2.0 per cent of the country's gross domestic product growth.
He said more than 27,000 Kenyans had been employed under the project while towns along the new railway line had benefitted from booming business.
"The SGR will also help boost the efficiency of the Mombasa Port since it will ensure cargo is transported quicker than using road transport," he added during a televised State House Infrastructure Summit organized by the President's communications team, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, and the Presidential Delivery Unit.
Macharia said road infrastructure was also important to the country's growth and the government had stepped up investment in that sector.
"When this government came to office, we realised that not enough had been done in terms of road infrastructure. In 2013, only about 14,000 kilometres of roads had been tarmacked out of a total stock of 160,000 kilometres," he observed.
In order to bridge the deficit, Macharia added, the government increased its investment in construction of rural roads, urban roads and the highways.
"We had 7,600 km of tarmacked highways and we are putting up an additional 2,500 km," said Macharia. "We said if we take these three subset of our roads then we will have actually covered the entire country. And this will touch the lives of the 42 million Kenyans."
With regard to security, Macharia said the Isiolo-Moyale highway would have a massive impact as it had opened up an area which was previously viewed as "marginalised".
"That is not a project that is under plan but about to be commissioned in the next one month, demonstrating that what we say indeed has been put into action," Macharia said.
He said the road would also promote trade with Ethiopia and boost regional integration. "This road has opened up our frontier with Ethiopia. Ethiopia has a population of over 100 million people. Certainly, we will now link that very big population to our side and facilitate trade and investment across the border," he said.
The Cabinet Secretary said the government's focus was also trained on development of the Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor, which has already won awards for being one of the most promising transport projects in the continent.
He said the LAPSSET Corridor had created jobs and opened new businesses and livelihood opportunities for more than one million people in Lamu, Isiolo, Marsabit, Meru, Laikipia and Turkana counties where projects related to ports, pipeline and roads were being undertaken.

The CS also talked on the improvement of the country's airports, citing the massive development at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport which had boosted the Kenyan capital's status as an air transport hub. 

Source : www.bernama.com
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