Kenya will in 2025 begin constructing a $ 13.8 billion high-speed electric standard gauge railway linking its Indian Ocean port of Lamu to Ethiopia and South Sudan.
The 3,000 km big ticket standard gauge railway project, will hook Lamu port to Isiolo before branching into three arteries to Addis Ababa, Juba and Nairobi, according to the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Development Authority.
With a projected economic internal rate of return of more than 12%, Lapsset says this proposal is viable. Kenya is already raising $9 million for detailed feasibility and engineering studies from an Africa Union infrastructure fund.
This electric rail link project is expected to connect Kenya with the two other neighbours, creating a combined economic output of $ 233 billion and a population of close to 200 million people.
The LAPSSET Corridor Program is Eastern Africa’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure project bringing together three East African Nations of Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
The LAPSSET Corridor Program has been identified as one of the key drivers to regional integration through infrastructure as it forms part of the envisioned Equatorial Land Bridge that traverses from LAPSSET Port to Douala in Cameroon.
The LAPSSET Corridor, is part of the larger Land Bridge that is to connect East African coast to the West of Africa.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Roads and Transport recently signed a bilateral agreement for the development operation and manage, management of SGR network between Lamu Port, Moyale and Addis Ababa.
Plans are advanced for development of a rail link from Lamu to Moyale through Isiolo to Nairobi to connect with the Mombasa-Nairobi-Malaba SGR.
Kenya has also agreed with Ethiopia to establish a joint bilateral steering committee to fast track the development of the LAPSSET corridor and its supporting infrastructure.