The Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project is back on track after leaders from Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the three countries work together towards completion of the project.
The project was launched way back in 2012, but has been slow to complete due to various reasons including unavailability of funds as well as lack of political good-will.
As the Star, Kenya’s Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, Ethiopian Ambassador to Kenya Meles Alam and South Sudan’s Undersecretary in the Ministry of Transport Captain David Martin signed an MoU to signify the three states’ commitment in supporting the revitalization of the project.
According to Raila Odinga, the African Union (AU) High Representative for Infrastructure, the second phase of the project will be a road network connecting East Africa to West Africa, which will connect Lamu Port to Douala/Kribi (Cameroon) seaports via Juba and Bangui.
While seeking support from the African Union (AU) last year, the LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority argued that the project will not only connect Ethiopia and South Sudan, but also to Central African Republic (Bangui) and Cameroon, terminating at Port of Douala. This, in the long run, will boost intra-African trade.
The LAPSSET project is a transport and infrastructure project in Kenya that, when complete, will be the country’s second transport corridor after the Mombasa – Uganda transport corridor.
The construction of LAPSSET’s main components (ports, pipelines, roads, railways) is currently ongoing with construction of the first berth at Lamu Port completed in October, 2019.
Once complete, the project will involve the following components:
- A port at Manda Bay, Lamu
- Standard gauge railway line to Juba and Addis Ababa
- Road network
- Oil pipelines (South Sudan and Ethiopia)
- Oil refinery at Bargoni
- Three airports
- Three resort cities (Lamu, Isiolo and Lake Turkana shores)
In 2013, the LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority estimated the total cost of the project to be $29.24 billion.