Kenya has secured a Sh81 billion financing from the World Bank for roads and ICT projects in North Eastern region.
The World Bank Board of Directors approved the funds on Tuesday to be spent on upgrading 365 kilometres of the 740-km Isiolo-Mandera road as well as 30 kilometres of spur roads.
The cash will also be spent on laying a fibre optic cable along the entire corridor under the Horn of Africa Gateway Development Project (HoAGDP).
The investment is expected to facilitate trade by enabling installation of border management systems and construction of border posts.
The monies will also be used to provide basic socio-economic infrastructure for communities living along the corridor.
World Bank in a statement envisions that the upgraded road, the fibre optic connections, and the provision of basic social services will attract investments.
They hope that it will facilitate regional and domestic trade, create jobs, and improve information sharing and access to internet-based opportunities.
“Promoting equal opportunities across the country and linkages in the sub-region will strengthen Kenya’s transformation from a low middle income to a middle-income country by 2030,” says Keith Hansen, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.
“We believe that 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.”
Josphat Sasia, Lead Transport Specialist and Task Team Leader, said the project will integrate the region and enhance security.
He said the project would also help realize the goal of 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,” he said.
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