Uhuru signs Ksh.67 billion loan with china for project delivery
Published on: April 27, 2019 10:51 (EAT)
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday witnessed the signing of two project delivery agreements amounting to Ksh.67 billion through a concessional financing and Public Private Partnership (PPP). President Kenyatta who was at a business forum in Beijing, also signed off projects which include fast tracking of the Konza Data Center and the Smart Cities Project to be be undertaken by Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei at a cost of Ksh.17.5 billion. Other projects include the construction of the Nairobi –Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to James Gichuru expressway on a PPP arrangement by the China Road and Bridge Corporation at a cost of Ksh.50 billion. The Konza Data Center and Smart City Facilities Project were conceived in 2017 by the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology and Huawei, and entails the development of core ICT infrastructure which includes National Cloud Data Center, Smart ICT Network, Public Safe City and Smart Traffic Solution and Government Cloud and Enterprise Service. Phase I of the project is estimated to create over 17,000 jobs and contribute an estimated Ksh.90 billion to the Kenyan economy. The construction of the JKIA to James Gichuru expressway is expected to ease traffic flow on the busy Mombasa highway as part of the ongoing interventions by the Government to de-congest key roads in Nairobi. President Kenyatta also signed the operation and maintenance service agreement for the Nairobi to Naivasha segment of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). Earlier, President Kenyatta attended the opening ceremony of the Second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) at the China National Convention Center in central Beijing where he addressed a High-Level Session attended by his host, President Xi Jinping of the Peoples Republic of China. President Kenyatta thanked China for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects which he said were aimed at expanding economic activities and unlocking potential for prosperity in many developing countries including Kenya. “Since inception, the Belt and Road Initiative has forged cooperation in the development of critical sectors including expansion of infrastructure, education and capacity building, trade facilitation and investment, agricultural modernization, industrial promotion and energy connectivity. Collectively, these developments are expanding economic activities and unlocking potential for prosperity,” said President Kenyatta. “We are a gateway to the African segment of the Golden Belt of the BRI that stretches from the Port of Mombasa to Kisumu on Lake Victoria and the East African hinterland, to the port of Kinshasa. In addition, is the corridor stretching from Lamu to South Sudan and Ethiopia-the LAPSSET corridor that connects the Great North Corridor to northern Africa,” The Head of State welcomed President Xi Jinping’s and China’s commitment to the continued opening up of the vast Chinese market to imports which will see Kenya boosts imports to China. President Kenyatta said that the Kenyan government was backing up infrastructure development with a range of policy reforms aimed at creating an enabling environment for trade and investment to thrive. “My Government has now adopted a comprehensive Kenya investment policy to guide investment procedures and processes, both at national and county levels. We have also established a One-Stop Centre to facilitate ease of doing business including establishing and automating service delivery through innovative business platforms such as Huduma Namba, E-Citizen, E-Regulations, iTax, Single Window Electronic Clearing System and Land Registry,” the President told Chinese investors drawn from across the vast country. President Kenyatta who is on a three-day working tour of China is accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Dr. Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs), Peter Munya (Trade) and James Macharia (Infrastructure) among other senior government officials.