, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 3 – The World Bank has approved Sh20 billion in funding for the upgrade of the northern corridor that connects Kenya to Uganda.
Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said the approval of the funds to be used for the re – carpeting of the Mau summit to Kisumu road is an indicator that the country is still a viable destination for donor funding.
“Despite the hard economic times its not all gloom as some parties may be implying,” The finance minister said Friday.
This recent approval increases the Bank\’s support for the Northern Corridor Transport Improvement Project (NCTIP) to Sh36.75 billion.
Initial financing of Sh16.5 billion for the scheme was approved by the Bank\’s Executive Board in June 2004.
At the same time the government signed financing agreements for two soft loans amounting to Sh4.52 billion and Sh6.87 billion from the French government that will be used respectively facilitate the erection of the Nairobi-Mombasa very high voltage line and improve the Mombasa water and sanitation services.
Speaking during the signing ceremony Mr Kenyatta said the existing transmission infrastructure between Mombasa and Nairobi could be overstretched by the end of 2011and needs to be replaced by then.
“The new connection will also facilitate the interconnections with Tanzania, Zambia and SouthAfrica,” The finance minister said.
Mr Kenyatta said the Sh4.52 billion water and sanitation funds for the coast region would be used for the rehabilitation and upgrade of bulk supply infrastructure in Baricho, Marere and Mombasa.
French Ambassador to Kenya her Excellency Elisabeth Barbier noted during the ceremony that the French government had increased their allocation of funding to Africa to Sh14.4billion.
Meanwhile Mr Kenyatta expressed confidence that the International Monetary fund (IMF) would approve the government’s request for a Sh7.7 billion loan.
The IMF had indicated March 10 that it would present the government’s proposal to its board in late April or early May.