LAPSSET headquarters in Lamu.
Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan yesterday threw their weight behind the Sh2.3 trillion Lapsset project as they jointly searched for investors to fund it.
The three reaffirmed their commitment to the Lamu Port , South Sudan , Ethiopia Transport Corridor project.
They told investors attending the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development to speed up the project.
It has been slowed by financial hitches since its launch in 2012, raising questions about its viability.
“The project has started taking shape. The intention is to have the private sector develop the port. The government is only opening the way,” Lapsset chairman Francis Muthaura said.
South Sudan asked investors to support road, rail and pipeline projects under Lapsset.
Foreign affairs Cs Amina Mohammed after at the UNCTAD conference in Nairobi on July 19.
Kenya is using the global trade forum to seek investors for key infrastructure projects, some of which have stalled for lack of funds.
The Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor and energy projects are among key ventures the government is fronting at the 14th United Nations.
The government, through the Kenya Investment Authority, is capitalising on the forum to seek private developers.
It has invited investors to bid for construction of the remaining 29 berths at the 32-berth Lamu port project through a public-private partnership.
The project is estimated to cost $5.3 billion (Sh537.7 billion).
The government has started construction of the first three berths. Kenya is also keen on attracting investors for construction of the SGR line via Garissa, Isiolo, Maralal, Lodwar and Lokichogio, under the Lapsset project, to link Lamu, and Ethiopia, as well as South Sudan.
“Investors are welcome to participate in infrastructure development under BOT (Build–Operate–Transfer) arrangements,” KenInvest said yesterday.
The government is inviting investors to venture into Dongo Kundu in Mombasa, where 3,000 acres have been availed for investment, including a planned duty-free port and a Special Economic Zone.
It is also seeking developers for ports at Kisumu and Shimoni. Another major project is the Nairobi metropolitan rapid transport system, which entails a nine-railway transport corridor.(From: THE STAR)