World Bank to provide $750m financing to improve infrastructure in Kenya

WCN Editorial Team 9 Sep 2020 AFRICA TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

The World Bank has agreed to provide a loan of $750m in International Development Association (IDA) financing to support the upgrade of road and other communication infrastructure in Kenya.

The IDA financing will support Horn of Africa Gateway Development Project (HoAGDP) under which 365km of the 740km Isiolo-Mandera Regional Road Corridor and 30km of spur roads will be upgraded.

The HoAGDP will also support in laying a fibre optic cable along the entire 740km corridor and provide additional measures such as trade facilitation, border management systems, construction of border posts.

Other measures include offering basic socio-economic infrastructure for the communities along the corridor, institutional strengthening and emergency response measures to deal with disasters or catastrophes that occur during the project’s life.

World Bank stated that the upgraded road, the fibre optic connections and providing basic social services are expected to attract investments, enable regional and domestic trade, create jobs and providing access to internet-based opportunities.

World Bank country director for Kenya Keith Hansen said: “Promoting equal opportunities across the country and linkages in the sub-region will strengthen Kenya’s transformation from a low middle income to a middle-income country by 2030.

“We believe that this investment, envisioned as a backbone project under the North and North Eastern Development Initiative, will contribute significantly to the Government’s efforts to ensure shared prosperity.”

The implementation of the Kenya-HoAGDP is expected to take up to six years. It is also the first in a series of projects that support the development of regional transport corridors and modal linkages under the Horn of Africa Initiative.

World Bank regional integration for Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Africa director Deborah Wetzel said: “Regional integration is fundamental for the countries in the Horn of Africa to create jobs and reduce poverty in an inclusive and sustainable way.

“The World Bank is a founding partner of the new Horn of Africa Initiative, launched in 2019 by the participating countries to deepen their cooperation and deliver development results for their populations.

“This new project launches the implementation of this Initiative and will fill a major gap in the connectivity of the region in terms of infrastructure and trade, and also by strengthening regional institutions to promote knowledge sharing and build human capital.”

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World Bank supports infrastructure projects in Kenya with $750m financing. (Credit: Pixabay/Wokandapix)

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