World Bank lends Kenya Sh75b for development along North Eastern region

Infrastructure CS James Macharia

NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenya has secured a Sh75billion line of financing from the World Bank meant to improve the movement of goods, digital connectivity, and access to social services for communities living in North Eastern Kenya.

The funding from the Bank’s International Development Corporation, IDA is targeted at communities living along the Isiolo-Mandera Regional Road Corridor and the capacity of selected transport-related institutions.

The funds are part of the Horn of Africa Gateway Development Project (HoAGDP) where the World Bank will finance the upgrading of 365 kilometers of the 740-kilometers Isiolo-Mandera Regional Road Corridor and 30km of spur roads, while the upgrading of the remaining sections will be financed by other development partners.

The HoAGDP will also finance the laying of a fiber optic cable along the entire 740-kilometer corridor with spurs to local communities; trade facilitation measures, such as border management systems and construction of border posts; the provision of basic socio-economic infrastructure for communities living along the corridor; institutional strengthening; as well as emergency response measures in case of a disaster or catastrophe during the life of the project.

“The potential of Northeastern Kenya as transit and regional trade facilitation zone is presently not fully exploited,” says Josphat Sasia, Lead Transport Specialist, and Task Team Leader.

“This transformative project will integrate the region and enhance security, inclusion, and a sense of equity, which the communities living in this underserved region of Kenya have desired for a long time. Successful implementation of the project will require the support of the leadership and communities of the region.”

The Kenya-HoAGDP is expected to take six years of implementation with the credit line having a 5-year grace period and 30-year maturity.

“This investment, envisioned as a backbone project under the North and North Eastern Development Initiative, will contribute significantly to the Government’s efforts to ensure shared prosperity, said Keith Hansen, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.”

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