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China keen to aid Lamu port construction

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 6 – The Chinese Government will continue providing technical and financial support for Kenya\’s infrastructure development.

Speaking during a meeting with President Mwai Kibaki at Harambee House today, Chinese Ambassador Deng Hongbo expressed his Government\’s interest in assisting Kenya in the construction of the proposed Lamu Port.

Ambassador Hongbo assured President Kibaki that the Chinese Government was also keen on supporting Kenya in the construction of a railway line to Ethiopia and Southern Sudan and upgrading of the Mombasa – Kampala railway line.

The Kenyan Government is currently in talks with prospective investors to ensure the country gets the best deal in the development of the Lamu Port and the second infrastructure corridor.

On his part, President Kibaki thanked the Chinese Government for its support in improving the country\’s infrastructure, especial the construction and rehabilitation of roads.

The President said he was satisfied with the level of cooperation between Kenya and China, noting that relations between the two countries have gained momentum over the years.

China and Kenya have in the past signed many agreements in various fields including technical and cultural cooperation, trade, education, health, energy, agriculture and cooperative development.

Under the agreement on economic and technical cooperation, China extended to Kenya loans and grants for many projects including the Kshs 8.5 billion Northern and Eastern Bypasses road project and the Kshs 2.16 billion JKIA – Gigiri road. 

On tourism cooperation, China granted an approved destination status to Kenya in 2003 leading to a steady increase in the number of Chinese tourists to Kenya especially after the introduction of direct Kenya Airways flights to Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

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Present during the meeting were Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula and the Minister for Transport Chirau Ali Mwakwere.

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