NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 10 – President Uhuru Kenyatta traveled to Kigali, Rwanda, Thursday morning to attend the 12th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit of Heads of State.
The Summit will discuss progress of projects being implemented by partner States to improve intra-regional trade and people-to-people relations.
The Eastern Africa region has witnessed significant progress in infrastructure development over the last two years following the inception of the Northern Corridor Integrations Projects with the direct supervision of the Presidents of the partner States, who hold summits every two months to review progress.
The initiative was first launched by Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda with South Sudan joining later. The drive to fast track regional integration has continued to attract more countries that have shown readiness to come on board.
Tanzania, Burundi, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been participating in the Summit on observer status.
Some of the projects being implemented under the initiative include the Standard Gauge Railway that will link Mombasa to Rwanda, through Uganda.
The construction of the Kenya section of the SGR is already ahead of schedule with the stretch between Nairobi and Mombasa set for completion by June 2016.
A commercial contract for the Nairobi–Naivasha section of the railway has been signed. Feasibility studies have been conducted for the Nairobi–Malaba section of the Railway, from where Uganda’s segment will connect.
In the ICT sector, achievement has already been realised with the establishment of the One Network Area (ONA) that has resulted in cheaper roaming charges since July 2015.
The member countries have also inked agreements on power generation and crude oil pipeline development.
Under the agreement, sale of power by Kenya to Rwanda will commence in April 2016.
The construction of the Hoima–Lokichar–Lamu crude oil pipeline, which is due to commence in the coming months, also falls under this project cluster.
The projects also include joint initiatives on project financing, harmonisation of university tuition fees, single customs and measures for ease of doing business.