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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Africa’s longest bridge Mombasa Gateway gets financial impetus

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Dongo Kundu Infrastructure Ecosystem and what is expected to be Africa’s longest bridge, Mombasa Gateway Bridge at the Coast are the greatest beneficiaries following a recent deal between Kenya and Japan at KSh260 billion.

Construction of the 1.4 km link bridge (with a 660m span) is expected to take 36 months to complete. The cable-stayed/powered bridge will carry four traffic lanes and will be 69-Metre high at mid-point, leaving sufficient space for ships to cross underneath it.

Mombasa Gateway Bridge is expected to improve transport and traffic flow to and from Mombasa significantly and will also complement the Dongo Kundu road bypass, which is almost complete and is expected to boost trade and tourism on the South Coast.

The new bridge which upon completion will be the longest bridge in Sub Saharan Africa is important as Mombasa is Kenya’s main port and improving the city’s traffic flow will help boost the country’s economy as a whole. With the new bridge in place, there will be environmental benefits also as the old causeway restricts the flow of water.

Also agreed, Kenya will issue a KSh40 billion Samurai bond in Japan to finance energy and infrastructure projects.

A Samurai bond is a yen-denominated bond issued in Tokyo by a non-Japanese company. The bond is, however, subject to Japanese regulations.

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Kenya also secured KSh30 billion from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to purchase heavy machinery and mechanised assets.

The Olkaria Geothermal Development Project will get KSh15 billion. Japan will also provide KSh1 billion for the ⁠production of medical oxygen for various hospitals.

Through the United Nations, Kenya will receive KSh320 million humanitarian aid ⁠for those affected by the recent El Nino-related floods.

Other agreements include MoUs on cooperation in the ICT, health, finance and security sectors.

He said the MoU will include enhancing the capacity of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) to build on its pandemic management potential at a cost of KSh3 billion.

To strengthen the partnership between the two countries in defence, an agreement on Defence Cooperation was also signed. This makes Kenya ⁠the first African country to sign a defence pact with Japan.

The President acknowledged Japan’s support for the completion of Phase II of the Mwea Irrigation Scheme and the National Rice Masterplan.

President Ruto witnessed the signing of the bilateral agreements on Thursday after holding talks with Prime Minister Kishida of Japan.

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