In Summary
  • Kenya and Japan sign final deal for the construction of Mombasa commercial and industrial hub.

  • The signing of the deal is good news for the port town that has been recording dwindling fortunes.

  • Project expected to spur growth in the port town of Mombasa as it unlocks over 60,000 jobs.

Coast residents have a reason to smile after the government signed the final agreement with Japan for the construction of the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone (SEZ), which will unlock more than 60,000 jobs.

This now sets the pace for the compensation of residents, who will be affected by the project. This also opens room for lobbying and jostling for investment opportunities by firms seeking to reap from the project.

DWINDLING FORTUNES

Kenya is expected to sign the a final print of the Sh41.07 billion deal with Japan to build the industrial and commercial hub in Dongo Kundu, Mombasa, in December.

This comes as a win for Mr Hassan Joho’s administration that has been vouching for the project as an alternative to the lost port business.

The signing of the deal is good news for the port town that has been recording dwindling fortunes, with a study by the University of Nairobi (UoN) released on Friday indicating that the economic state of Mombasa is at ‘economic decay point.’

The study indicates that container freight stations, long distance truckers and transport-related businesses such as fuelling and service stations are mostly affected.

The study showed that Mombasa had lost more than Sh17.3 billion since the Standard Gauge Railway came into operation, and the shift of clearance to the Nairobi Inland Container Deport (ICD).

The Nation has learnt that the final Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Kenya and Japan on the sidelines of the Tokyo International Convention on Africa Development (Ticad) in Japan on August 30, for Sh41.07 billion ($391 million) of which Sh35.29 billion will be a loan, while Sh5.77 billion will be a grant.

CONCESSIONAL LOAN

“Treasury will sign the final print on the funding later in December in Nairobi, upon which the project will be ready to start. The two governments are working with a June 2020 date for the groundbreaking,” a source told the Nation.

The loan and grant, it is understood are expected to automatically end within a period of three years, after the completion of the project.

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