Coordinated approach key to the success of the LAPSSET Corridor

The LAPSSET Corridor is Kenya’s second transport Corridor, the first being the Northern Corridor linking the land locked countries of Uganda, Rwanda Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi with Kenya’s port of Mombasa. The LAPSSET Corridor connects the Lamu Port to Ethiopia and South Sudan through a vast network of highways, Standard gauge railway lines, Crude and Product oil pipelines, forming the core Infrastructure Projects. The Corridor also encompasses Investment Projects such as International Airports, Resort Cities, Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones.

The LAPSSET Corridor is further envisioned to be a Port to Port Corridor, linking Lamu Port with other continental Corridors such as East Africa

Northern Corridor, East Africa Central Corridor and provide a land bridge through the African Great Lakes region. This will create a link from Lamu port in the Eastern Africa Coast of India Ocean to Douala Port in the Western Africa Atlantic Ocean.

 

The magnitude of the transport-infrastructure and investment projects involved in this regional project will require a multisector approach combining the efforts of governments, private investors and multilateral bodies. It is against this backdrop that the LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority (LCDA) was formed.

LCDA, the focal point of the LAPSSET Corridor Project

LCDA was established through an executive order with a mandate to coordinate and sequence the LAPSSET Corridor Projects, to coordinate implementation of the LAPSSET Corridor Projects with implementing Ministries and Agencies. With different government ministries and agencies implementing different components of the LAPSSET Corridor in line with their mandate, there is need for harmonization of projects to ensure; – synchronization of timelines, sequencing of (priority) projects and that project components complement one another.

To bring the harmonization of these projects in to perspective, the (32 berths) Lamu Port Project is currently under construction at about 20% complete, having begun construction in November 2016.

To realize these results, the Authority facilitated the undertaking of feasibility studies and detailed engineering designs, and is providing leadership and direction in sequencing of the Port and other facilitative infrastructural and service delivery initiatives to ensure bankability of the project.

The construction of the Lamu Port offshore container terminal with three berths is expected to be a huge incentive that will attract the private sector to come on board and develop the remaining berths. Operationalization of the 1st three berths is key on the Authority’s agenda and plans are underway to construct the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road, that will provide the initial evacuation of cargo from Lamu Port through the highway network that will join with the already completed Isiolo-Moyale (505KM) highway. H.E The President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to Commission the construction of this highway early March 2017.

The Authority has already facilitated the entry of private sector into the LAPSSET Corridor. Amu Power Company LTD, A Coal-fired power project producing 1050 MW will create business for the Port by importing clean coal.

The Authority’s coordination role has been instrumental in the prioritization of projects and synchronization of timelines of the Lamu Port (1st three berths), Lamu – Garissa – Isiolo highway, Amu Power Coal-fired power plant including the Crude & Product Oil Pipelines among other complementing projects to ensure high success of the projects.

 

Accompanying such huge infrastructure projects such as the LAPSSET Corridor, are environmental and social factors and if not carefully managed, can be an impediment to the progress of such huge projects.  Cognisant to this, LCDA has been on the forefront ensuring social and environmental safeguards are in place. Through a Strategic Environmental Assessment conducted by the Authority, social and environmental concerns have been identified. They range from marginalization of Pastoralists and fishing based livelihoods, potential over exploitation of natural resources to fragmentation of wildlife habitats to name a few. Through a consultative approach and coordinated manner, the Authority has been able to bring together relevant Ministries, Agencies and County governments whereby mitigation measures such as compensation, capacity building, security provision, CSR Projects and possible realignment are under discussion.

In order to perform this huge role of bringing together Ministries and Agencies under the National government as well as County governments along the LAPSSET Corridor, with the sole objective of delivering the Country’s 2nd Transport Corridor, the Authority’s structure comprises of the entire government representation. Four ministries are represented in the LCDA Board of Directors, a Cabinet Committee chaired by the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure Housing and Urban Development
is in place with the Authority’s Director General/CEO as the Secretary to this Committee.

LCDA CEO and Board of Directors with H.E The President and H.E the Deputy President in State House, Present too is the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing & Urban Development and the Chief of Staff
LCDA CEO and Board of Directors with H.E The President and H.e the Deputy President in State House, Present too is the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing & Urban Development and the Chief of Staff

Furthermore, the LAPSSET Corridor Program is among the top Infrastructure Projects championed under the African Union’s Presidential Infrastructure Championship Initiative (PICI), having been admitted to that status during the African Union Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee meeting of the 32ND Summit of the AU General Assembly, held in January 2015, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This gives the LAPSSET Corridor Project a high Continental focus bringing on board multilateral bodies; – governments, International Investors and financiers, enhancing the Authority’s coordination role in project financing and Bilateral agreements, however this will be covered in greater details on our subsequent topics.

Geared up for more coordination

LCDA is on top gear in readying the LAPSSET Corridor for Private Investments. Focus has been on the development of an integrated investment framework that will guide the Development of Investment projects in line with international standards and facilitate the ease of doing business in the LAPSSET Corridor, with special consideration to social and environmental factors.

This will see more implementing agencies such as the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZ), Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest), Kenya Maritime Authority etc. come on board.