NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – Kenya has received a Sh12.5 billion loan from the African Development Bank in support of construction of phase two of the Mombasa-Addis Ababa highway covering 123 kilometres.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday the money also finance a detailed design of a dual carriage way of Mombasa- Sagana-Marua sections of the corridor and which was expected to open up trade between Ethiopia and Kenya.
“Other components of this particular project include purchase of equipment, construction of two road stations in Marsabit and Turbi, construction of a one stop border post in Moyale town, equipping it with security house posts, the drilling of community water wells and water harvesting schemes along the route of the road,” he said.
African Development Bank Resident Representative to Kenya Domina Buzingo added that the construction of the road would reduce transit time for goods between Kenya and Ethiopia.
“It is also expected that the development of the corridor will expand market size beyond national boundaries and foster a conducive and enabling environment for the private sector, reduced transport and logistic costs between Kenya and Ethiopia and increase volume of Ethiopian transit goods using the port of Mombasa,” she explained.
Mr Kenyatta who was speaking after the signing of the loan agreement between Kenya and the bank also pointed out that the African Development Bank had committed almost Sh140 billion in accumulative basis to Kenya and that it remained one of the country’s leading development partners giving assistance in support of the development agenda.
“As we speak, there are 18 ongoing projects with a total commitment of approximately Sh38.9 billion. These are in sectors ranging from roads, energy, agriculture, health, water and sanitation and institutional reforms that the government is undertaking. Various projects for support by the bank are at various stages of preparation,” he said.
Ms Buzingo also reiterated Mr Kenyatta’s views adding that the signing of the loan agreement totalled the bank’s support to Kenya’s transport sector to Sh38.85 billion.
“This is nearly 50 percent of the total financial intervention of the African Development Bank’s support to Kenya. We are still committed to supporting the economic development of this country so as to make a visible impact on the lives of Kenyans,” she said adding that the project would only become useful if it was implemented.
“This can only be achieved if we deliver in a timely fashion,” she stated.
Mr Kenyatta said that the loan had come at an opportune time particularly after the signing of the East African Community Common Market. He added that it was also consistent with Kenya’s Vision 2030 as it would facilitate the construction of a road network which would facilitate interregional trade.
“We are committed to regional interconnectivity to boost trade and the ongoing regional roads (Athi River-Namanga-Arusha road and Isiolo-Merille River road) will on completion drastically increase interregional trade with our neighbours; Tanzania and Ethiopia. It will also contribute towards infrastructure development which has been identified as a key input to moving this country into a middle income country,” he stated.
Mr Kenyatta also spurred the Roads Ministry to guarantee that the project was actualised and further committed his Ministry to the completion of the project.
“I wish to challenge the implementing Roads Ministry to ensure that all the conditions of effectiveness are met within the shortest time possible so that the implementation can start without delay. On our part we will ensure that we have set aside adequate counterpart funding for this project in the budget to facilitate smooth implementation,” he said and asserted that the money would not be squandered.
“The resources provided are a loan that will be repaid by Kenya’s future generations and hence the need to ensure that funds are properly used for the benefit of Kenyans. We commit to use these funds well for their benefit and others,” he said.