NAIROBI: African Development Bank (AfDB) will loan Kenya Sh45 billion ($500m) this year to finance major infrastructure projects in the country.
The African Development Bank Regional Director for Eastern Africa’s Regional Resource Centre Gabriel Negatu said the money would be committed to finance mega projects in various places.
He said the bank is willing to support the Government’s development initiatives with a view to enhancing its economic growth.
“The bank’s board of directors recently approved three major infrastructure projects to be undertaken this year in Kenya. They include the Mombasa-Mariakani road, a road from Kitale to the border of Uganda and a new by-pass in Eldoret town,” said Mr Negatu during the opening of the 1st Africa Bitumen/Asphalt Forum 2015 at a Nairobi hotel.
He added that over and above the new projects, the bank is also financing ongoing projects like the recently launched Outer Ring Road in Nairobi. Negatu hailed the Government’s passion to develop infrastructure, saying the same would have a positive impact on the economy, mainly through the reduction of the cost of doing business.
The bank in the recent past has contributed huge resources towards infrastructure development in the country. For example, it loaned the Government part of the money spent on the construction of the 50- kilometre Thika Road.
He said fixing infrastructure will help the country to reduce the cost of doing business, which for a long time has been a major stumbling block to economic growth. The local business community has been complaining of the high cost of doing business due to poor physical infrastructure.
Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) Chairman Vimal Shah stated in an earlier interview that it takes less than a week to import cargo from Egypt or Malaysia and more than two weeks to transport it from Mombasa to major urban centres in the country.
“This is due to the high cost of transport attributable to poor physical infrastructure,” he said. Over 90 per cent of cargo from Mombasa to Nairobi and other urban centres is transported by truck, while less than 10 per cent is transported by rail.
In order to improve movement of cargo from the Mombasa port to the interior, the Government has started construction of the standard gauge railway line. Infrastructure Principal Secretary John Mosonik said the Government is committed to improving infrastructure to boost the national economy.
“The ministry has launched a Sh40 billion, 10,000 kilometre annuity programme. The infrastructure to be will be put up by the private sector who will later seek compensation from the Government,” stated Mr Mosonik.
Do not miss out on the latest news. Join the Standard Digital Telegram channel HERE.