Construction of Kenya-South Sudan highway is set to be completed by 2020. This is according to Julius Korir, principal secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development.
“Three Chinese contractors won the tender to upgrade about 248 km of road to bitumen standards on the Kenyan section of the road that links to South Sudan So far the project is about 30% complete and we expect the road to be commissioned in 2020,” said Julius Korir.
Kenya-South Sudan highway
The Minister affirmed that the government is prioritizing the Kenya-South Sudan highway, which is part of the East African Community road network, in order to boost intra-regional trade.
About 25% of South Sudan’s total imports come from Kenya. The volume of Kenyan goods exported to South Sudan has been on the rise. Some of the goods are pharmaceutical products, food and edible oils. According to the government official, trade between the two countries is hampered due to poor quality of roads.
“Kenyan traders are forced to travel through Uganda in order reach South Sudan, a process that could take up to three days. With the new road, travel time will be cut by at least two days,” said Korir.
World Bank had released US $523m to fund laying of of fibre-optic cable and the construction of the superhighway. The fibre-optic cable is being placed along the Lokichar-Nedapal road as the highway is constructed. The current road and fibre project will ease communication and the transportation of Kenyan products to South Sudan.