World Bank offers Sh25bn for road projects in Kenya

Construction of a flyover in Nigeria.
Construction of a flyover. The World Bank has been a key financier of Kenya’s road construction. PHOTO/FILE
The World Bank has approved a Sh25.1 billion loan to facilitate the construction of a regional road project and rehabilitation of the Mombasa International Airport.

In a statement issued Friday, the World Bank said the funds will aid in the construction of a road network linking Kenya, Tanzania and Sudan and upgrading the runway of the country’s second international airport.

The statement added that the road project would help ease transport crisis in East Africa while the airport upgrade would help improve aviation safety and boost tourism in the coastal region.

Dubbed the Kenya Transport Sector Support, the regional road project is expected to cost Sh40 billion.

Under this project, the Kenyan government aims to finance the upgrade of the Kisumu-Kakamega-Webuye-Kitale roads, thereby linking Kenya to Sudan and rehabilitating roads in northern Kenya.

“The bank is making substantial investment in Kenya’s two most important road corridors as part of its effort to help Kenya transform into a modern middle-income economy,” said Johannes Zutt, the World Bank Country Director for Kenya.

Mr Zutt said the road project would ease the movement of cargo in transit, open up trade and investment opportunities for Kenya and the rest of the East African region. The road project, known as the Western Corridor, is the second largest after the Northern Corridor. It aims at upgrading 221 kilometres of road.

The World Bank is financing the Northern Corridor road project, with a package of Sh38 billion set aside for the project, which links the Mombasa port to up country roads.

“The project will support the implementation of the Vision 2030 and help consolidate Kenya’s position as a regional transport hub,” Supee Teravaninthorn, the World Bank’s Transport Sector Manager said in a statement.

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