BEIJING, Jul 18 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Wednesday led government officials in consultations with officials of the China Communications and Construction Company (CCCC) In Beijing, China.
The PM said that the company’s ongoing work in Kenya was an extension of more than five decades of cooperation between Kenya and China, going back to the struggle for independence, when China supported Kenya’s quest for freedom.
The PM said that the ongoing infrastructure improvement and development in Kenya was a key component of Kenya’s Vision 2030. The PM was pleased to know that the Southern bypass project is going to be completed on schedule and that it will meet the expected international standards.
Odinga said that Kenya was also working on the Northern Corridor, which should open up the entire Eastern Africa region to the world. Opening up of the region has been very slow, he said. He observed that nothing had been done to expand the railway network, for example, ever since the British completed the Kenya Uganda Railway in 1901.
Failure to modernize the railway had been too costly for the region. It has generated sluggishness and inefficiency at the port of Mombasa, while also overburdening the roads that have had to cope with heavy traffic that should otherwise be railroaded. Plans were now underway to modernize railway network for commerce in the Great Lakes Region, the PM said.
CCCC are involved with road construction in Kenya. The CEO of CCCC Fan Jixiang, said that the company is ranked second globally and operates in most countries in the world. In Kenya, they are working in the Port of Mombasa No. 19 project as well as the Southern bypass.
“We view Kenya as one of our most important partners. We are going to mobilize more resources to Kenya. We intend to make Kenya our regional headquarters in the Eastern Africa region,” he said.
He said the south Ngong Road will be completed in time as a model project.
The second critical project is the Nairobi Mombasa Road. “We recognize the importance of this road in the Kenyan and East African economy. We assure you that we shall execute it with maximum efficiency. ”
The Mombasa Port Project, another one of CCCC projects in Kenya, was reported to be on schedule.
CCCC offered to train Kenyan engineers in some of the more complex aspects of civil and mechanical works of the kind they are involved in, in Kenya.
Accompanying the PM were Cabinet Ministers Njeru Githae, Fred GUMO and Noah Wekesa.