The African Development Bank (AfDB) is looking at the possibility of funding an inter-state highway that would link Kenya and its northeastern neighbor Somalia.
A statement issued after a meeting between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and visiting AfDB Group Dr. Donald Kaberuka in Nairobi said the duo discussed the possibility of the Bank funding an inter-state highway connecting Kenya to Somalia to accelerate post war reconstruction.
“President Kibaki thanked AfDB for its role in regional integration and continued financial support to the countryâ€™s development Agenda,” said the statement, noting that Kibaki also lauded the regional bank for supporting the countryâ€™s development agenda.
During the talks, President Kibaki and Kaberuka reviewed the progress of the ongoing national and regional infrastructural projects funded by the Bank.
The president noted with appreciation that the continental Bank was currently financing 20 national and three regional projects to the tune of 1.65 billion U.S. dollars covering roads, water, agriculture, health and education sectors.
Among the projects supported by the Bank include upgrading of the Isiolo-Marsabitâ€“Moyale road part of which is completed, Athi river-Namanga-Arusha road and the Nile Basin Power interconnection line that links the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya.
“President Kibaki and Kaberuka also discussed the possibility of the Bank financing the rehabilitation of the Voi-Taveta and Eldoret-Timboroa roads that requires attention,” the statement said.
Kaberuka who is in the country to witness the commissioning of the 362 million dollar Nairobi-Thika Super-highway partly financed by his Bank, hailed Kenyaâ€™s contribution to the prevailing peace in Somalia and regional integration.
President Kibaki will officially open the 8-lane highway which originates from Nairobi and has links to Moyale at the Kenya- Ethiopia border on Friday.
The highway is the first of its kind in the region and it sets the pace for development in Kenya. Analysts say that other road improvements will help Kenya serve the East African Community blocâ€™s 130 million residents more efficiently.
The highway is supported by two by-passes, the Eastern Bypass that connects it to another highway known as Mombasa Road, and the Northern Bypass also connecting it to another highway known as Waiyaki Way.
All the three form the trio of arteries that service large motor traffic to, from and through the heart of the Nairobi Business District.
The road transport is the predominant mode of transport and carries about 93 percent of all cargo and passenger traffic in the country.
Kenya is racing to be a preferred business destination for locals and foreigners as part of its strategy to become a middle income country by 2030.