Kenya signs cooperation deals with China

BEIJING, Jul 22 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Saturday witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements with leading Chinese firms, covering energy and road construction projects meant for various parts of Kenya.

The agreements signed in Nanchang, China include a memorandum of understanding with China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation to develop a solar and diesel engine power plant in Kenya.

The agreement also provided for a concessional loan for the construction of Mbita-Sindo-Magunga-Karungu-Masara Road and Sindo-Nyandiwa-Sori Road in the counties of Homa Bay and Migori.

Another memorandum of understanding between the Government of Kenya and Zhongmei Engineering Group Ltd provides for a concessional loan for the construction of Narok-Masai Mara (C12) road to connect with Narok-Mau-Narok (C57) Road.

Engineer Maingi Mwangi, Director General of Kenya Rural Roads Authority and Engineer Meshack Kiddenda of the Kenya Highways Authority signed the agreements for Kenya.

During the ceremonies, the Prime Minister also presented to the governor of Jiangxi Province of China the power plant agreement with the Government of Kenya, signed in Nairobi on July 16.

Odinga was accompanied by Forests and Wildlife Minister Noah Wekesa and Kenya’s Ambassador to China, Julius Ole Sunkuli.

Also present at the signing of the MOUs in Nanchang were Development Authorities Permanent Secretary, Eng. Carey Rege and chair of the board of the National Highways Authority, Mrs. Hannah Muriithi.

The Chinese Government has meanwhile accepted to extend to Kenya a concessional loan of $72 million, for the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure Project and E-Government, which will provide optic fibre, linking all urban areas of Kenya.

Odinga said the project is intended to make Internet available to most Kenyans, as the country moves towards E- Government.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga agreed on this concession following high-level discussions with Chinese counterpart, Wen Jibao and Vice President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China.

Kenya and China are, accordingly, expected to sign a bilateral agreement at a date to be shortly announced.