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World Bank appeals to Raila Odinga over infrastructure

By Fredrick Obura | November 28th 2019
High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa of the African Union, Raila Odinga

The World Bank is calling on Raila Odinga to add the development of waterways as a core component of the continental Africa agenda.

Through its Vice-President Makhtar Diop for infrastructure, the bank singled out Lake Victoria and the Port of Kisumu for their potential to uplift the entire eastern Africa region.

Diop reaffirmed the World Bank’s continued strong commitment to developing lake waterways in the region where Lake Victoria and the port of Kisumu are to play a significant role.

Diop said the World Bank is committed to supporting not just the port of Kisumu but also funding the construction of the Lake Ring Road in addition to setting up a school for maritime activities in Kisumu and helping small towns around the lake to grow.

Mr. Diop spoke at a meeting with Mr. Raila Odinga, the High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa of the African Union.

“When we worked on upgrading Kisumu Airport to its current status, feasibility studies showed it would handle only 200,000 passengers. Kisumu International Airport is handling 800,000 passengers and the numbers are rising,” Diop said.

Raila on his part emphasised the centrality of Kisumu port, with capacity to deliver goods and tourists to Bukoba for onward movement to Bujumbura and Kigali.

“With the Port, tourists will fly to Kisumu and take a ship to Musoma then travel to Mwanza and Serengeti and continue to Bukoba, Kampala, Jinja then back to Nairobi,” Odinga said.

He appealed to the World Bank to help fastrack the development of Mwanza, Port Bell and Jinja in addition to developing transport on Lake Tanganyika to link up with Lake Victoria and the port of Kisumu.

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