Chinese firm starts road construction in Kenya to boost border trade

2021-04-11 22:05:48 GMT2021-04-12 06:05:48(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

KITALE, Kenya, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Sunday commissioned the construction of a one-stop border post to promote trade and security with neighboring Uganda.

Sam Ojwang, a senior administrator in the north-western Kenyan county of Trans-Nzoia, presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of the project financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Ojwang later handed over the site to China State Construction Engineering Corporation, the firm contracted by the government to implement the project.

The project that will take 11 months to complete will be undertaken by Vanci Engineering Company Limited, a sub-contractor.

China State Construction Engineering Corporation is already refurbishing the 45 kilometers Kitale-Endebess-Suam highway.

The border project is set to house customs and Immigration and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) offices.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni in 2018 held talks in the port city of Mombasa and agreed to have a one-stop border point to enhance trade and security in the region.

Ojwang said the two leaders had agreed to build one-stop border points to enhance integration between the neighboring countries.

He said that the Kenyan government had axed 24 acres of land from Suam forest to put up the project. Ojwang said Uganda is expected to establish a similar project on its side.

"It was agreed by the two heads of State to initiate one-stop border points at the border to improve inter-country trade and address the infiltration of light weapons and drugs," said Ojwang.

He said the project will enhance efficiency in the management of the border especially revenue collection and cross-border services.

"The project brings immense benefits to manufacturers in Kenya and it is the commitment of the national government to promote the manufacturing sector in a bid to scale up the efforts to achieve the Big Four Agenda towards attaining Vision 2030," said Ojwang.

He said the one-stop border post is part of the infrastructural development projects set to boost the spirit of regional integration.

AfDB has invested 4.60 billion shillings (42.9 million U.S. dollars) for the renovation of a major highway in Trans-Nzoia County by China State Construction Engineering Corporation.

The project is expected to be completed at the end of the year. Enditem