South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia have agreed to jointly source funding for their infrastructure projects under the umbrella of the African Union.
The three neighboring countries plan to mobilize millions of dollars to build infrastructure linking their economies.
They also agreed on joint budgetary allocation during last week’s meeting attended by the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development, Raila Odinga.
According to the East African website, an MoU signed by the ministers resolved to harmonize regulations and run joint marketing for the speedy implementation of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport Corridor project.
The African Union also adopted Lapsset project and redesigned it to link the Lamu port on the eastern African coast of the Indian Ocean to Douala port in the western Africa Atlantic Ocean.
The adoption means it is now under the African Union and elevates the project’s status to attract foreign direct investment and other financiers compared with its status during the launch in 2012.
Lapsset was initially designed to cover South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia, but the redesign and adoption by the AU will see the project connect East Africa with West Africa.
AU says this will facilitate the African Continental Free Trade Area and also make it easy when lobbying to be considered under the AU programme.
The project will comprise roads, railways, ports, pipelines and special economic zones, to be implemented in two phases, starting with the Lamu-Isiolo-Addis Ababa to Djibouti by road and rail.
The second phase will connect Lamu to Kribi/Doula in Cameroon via Juba in South Sudan and Bangui in the Central African Republic.
The Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport Corridor Programme was launched in March 2012 by President Salva Kiir, former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, and the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
The project joins the ranks of other continental corridors such as East Africa’s Northern Corridor and Central Corridor.
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