US$517m Kenya-Ethiopia highway scheduled for completion in 2015

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The road linking Kenya and Ethiopia is scheduled for completion by next year. The 505 KM Isiolo-Marsabit-Moyale road is now 60% complete and construction works was ongoing according to Marsabit governor Ukur Yattani.

It is expected that by the end of next year, Nairobi will have been connected to Addis Abeba through this road construction project. The entire project is expected to cost US$517m and is being funded by the African Development Bank, the European Union and the Kenya Government.

The completed section of the Isiolo-Marsabit-Moyale road have already created better opportunities and enhanced security to this volatile region, which has been incessantly hampered by inter-ethnic conflicts over herding and water rights. The road construction project is part of the greater Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) where the road is to link the port of Lamu to Mombasa, Nairobi and then finally Ethiopia.

It is expected to contribute in enhancing trade and regional integration between Ethiopia and Kenya by reducing general transport costs, increasing market sizes beyond national boundaries, increasing economic output and giving rise to other socio-economic benefits.In terms of trade and regional integration, the project area extends beyond Kenya and Ethiopia to include Uganda, Tanzania, Eritrea, and Djibouti.

The road construction project will also bring business in the area in the form of banks, lodges, cottages and other institutions thus creating jobs and improving the livelihoods of the locals.

Kenya has also planned a number of road construction projects, including 3000km whose construction was launched earlier this August and slated for completion in 2017. This was part of the 10, 000km roads generally slated for construction in the country as part of the government’s initiative to expand infrastructure to support economy.