On 15th May 2017, China hosted the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing City. H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta joined other Heads of States and global experts in the forum to deliberate on common development based on win-win cooperation. The Belt and Road Forum aims at enhancing development among the participating states and regions by bridging the infrastructural gap to enhance growth and development across the countries.
Kenya is considered a critical platform for the advancement of the Belt and Road agenda within the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, due to the infrastructural initiatives such as the LAPSSET Corridor Program and the Standard Gauge Railway.
The LAPSSET Projects enhance interconnectivity among countries, regions, and continents. The Projects begins in Kenya, connecting to South Sudan and Ethiopia. It creates the land bridge across the African continent, linking the East Coast of the African Continent from Lamu Port to the West Coast of the African Continent at Douala Port. It also links with the Lagos – Cotonou – Abidjan – Mali Corridor. The LAPSSET Highway is also part of the Great North Road connecting Cape Town to Cairo. The LAPSSET Projects create critical linkage to various economic hubs in the global context thus enhancing economic growth in countries where it traverses and increasing gains from other transport corridors.
The LAPSSET Projects offer benefits that are paramount for seamless connectivity in the African continent and the rest of the world. The projects yield diverse impacts that boost the position of Africa as the world growth frontier, owing to its gains that range from opening up the interiors of the African continent, providing unique large-scale infrastructure projects with high returns, enhancing production and capacity, trade and investment, resulting in socio-economic developments. The LAPSSET standard gauge railway system, highways, and crude and product oil pipelines provide the much-needed connection to the port to enhance the transportation of goods and services thus providing a gateway for the Eastern parts of the globe into Africa and vice versa.
Hence, the LAPSSET Program plays a crucial role in positioning Kenya to achieve the main objectives of the Belt and Road initiative of common development based on win-win cooperation.
On 16th May 2017 China Power Global signed a deal with Amu Power Holdings Ltd to finance the development of the Coal Power Plant to a tune of $2.06 billion. Amu Coal Power is part of the LAPSSET Corridor Program.
On 10th May 2017, LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority signed a sublease with Amu power Holdings Ltd. for 349.9 ha of land for a period of 49 years for the development of the Coal Power Plant, in Lamu County. The plant is expected to generate 1050MW, which will be fed into the National Grid to enhance the stability of power supply in the country and especially to the LAPSSET Corridor.