According to a press release that was released by the State House in Kenya on Thursday 8th January, announced that the Head of State of Kenya, President William Ruto, had secured a total of Ksh350 billion which would be utilized for the Mombasa Gateway Bridge Funding in order to fund the upcoming project of his administration. This is a great step as Kenya draws closer into achieving its dreams of having the longest bridge in Africa, the Mombasa Gateway Bridge, as the president managed to secure billions for the Mombasa Gateway Bridge Funding thereby guaranteeing its completion.
In the deals that the president signed with the Japanese government, the two mega projects i.e. the Mombasa Gateway Bridge and the Dongo Kundu Infrastructure Ecosystem benefited the highest with the two projects securing a total amount of Ksh260 billion.
Mombasa Gateway Bridge Funding Financier
This funding comes one month after the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Transport Ministry, Kipchumba Murkomen, met the officials from Japan during the second Kenya-Japan Quality Infrastructure Conference that was held in Nairobi in order to discuss the construction of the Mombasa Gateway Bridge.
According to the Cabinet Secretary, the Mombasa Gateway Bridge has been under construction since its feasibility study was conducted in the year 2019.
“Japan is also a part of upcoming new projects like the Mombasa Gateway Bridge which is set to be the longest in the African continent,” Murkomen said at the time.
The bridge is significant in that it will enable easier movement of both people and goods between the island of Mombasa and the South Coast and also be a tourist attraction in the region. Earlier on, the project had been fashioned as a Ksh47 billion extended loan by the Japanese government.
The construction works of the Mombasa Gateway Bridge had been initially scheduled to kick off in the month of June the year 2021, with its completion date set for the year 2024 but due to delays postponements on the project have been happening.
Challenges Facing the Bridge Project
Among the delays that were incurred was as a result of the need of the Kenyan government to compensate a total of 1,706 households that had to be displaced from a total of 725 plots which add up to 62.6 hectares of land.
In the other hand, the Dongo Kundu Infrastructure Ecosystem project has an aim of setting up infrastructure that will be supporting the Mombasa Special Economic Zone. The feasibility test of the project was conducted in February of 2020.
The Kenyan president and the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kushido, also reached an agreement that required Kenya to issue a bond of Ksh40 billion (Samurai bond) in Japan so as to fund both energy and infrastructure projects.
A Samurai bond is a yen-denominated bond that is issued in Tokyo by a non-Japanese company. However, the bond is subjected to all the financial regulations of the Japanese law.
Additionally, Kenya also got to secure a total of Ksh30 billion from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation that would be utilized to purchase both heavy machinery and assets. The Olkaria Geothermal Development project is set to receive Ksh15 billion. Moreover, Japan will provide Ksh1 billion that would be utilized into the production of medical oxygen for quite a number of hospitals.