Business / News
Thursday, 08 Dec 2016 18:14 EAT
Kenya and Uganda have launched a comprehensive integrated master plan for Northern Economic Corridor prepared by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), as a blueprint for the development of infrastructure that will ultimately interconnect six countries in East and Central Africa, officials attending an international seminar in Nairobi recently have announced.
The Northern Economic Corridor connects Mombasa seaport through Kenya and Uganda, to Rwanda and Burundi, to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and to South Sudan, according to official communication obtained from JICA. “It is a multi-modal corridor and is recognized as the most significant corridor for logistics in East Africa,” JICA says in an official document.
“During the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 5) in 2013, the Government of Japan and JICA committed to formulate a master plan for five potential economic corridors in Africa and the Northern corridor was one of them,“ said Satoshi Sugimoto, Senior Representative, JICA Kenya.
The transport corridor will have multimodal options including road, rail, waterway and a pipeline, and it is recognized as the most significant corridor for logistics in East Africa, officials said. Official estimates show that the total import and export freight from Mombasa port will reach 61 million tons in 2030, representing a growth of 2.3 times the amount in 2015.
“This logistics master plan has a target of the year 2030 and its consistent with the regional development strategies, the sub regional and national development plans and it is therefore expected to integrate seamlessly into sector plans and provide a clear template upon which the Northern corridor development will be undertaken which will support our economic, social, political aspirations in Kenya and Uganda,” said Eng. Francis Gitau, Infrastructure Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development.
“The mainstreaming of the recommendations of this master plan into our national development plans will help us realize the corridor vision to become the leading economic corridor with integrated transport logistics system in Africa,” he added. The final report will be submitted by January 2017, Mr Gitau said.
In both Kenya and Uganda, about 95 percent of cargo freight is transported by track. But experts say it would be more efficient to transport large amounts of heavy freights, such as coal and construction material over long distance by railway, and oil products by pipeline.
The writer, an experienced journalist, is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press