Has the Lapsset corridor project stalled?

“….I want to remind Kenyans that these projects, these guys didn’t come up with them. There is another one we came up with, which they haven’t started... For example, Lapsset. I remember we designed it.  We did everything and called the Ethiopian Prime Minister, the President of South Sudan. They joined Kibaki and I, and we started that project. It’s no longer going on…. ”

-         NASA flagbearer Raila Odinga during a Radio Interview on Radio Maisha  on July 4

Lapsset, or the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor Project, was launched in March 2012. On March 1, Kenya and Ethiopia signed an agreement for the construction of a standard gauge railway from Lamu Port to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The next day, Kenya launched the construction of Lamu Port.  Present for the launch with President Mwai Kibaki were President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia. Prime Minister Raila Odinga was also present.

Mr Odinga’s concern is not misplaced. Earlier this year, Parliament’s Budget and Appropriations Committee recommended that no other projects should be commenced except externally funded projects and those under Vision 2030. The Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa to Nairobi was commissioned after many of the Lapsset projects.

However, there have been signs of progress on the project, with construction  continuing  In the budget speech on March 30, 2017, Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich allocated Sh10 billion for the Lapsset project.


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