- December 14, 2020
- Posted by: Benson Thuita
- Category: Regional Integration
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopia Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday 9th December commissioned the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) in Moyale, Marsabit County. The two leaders also inaugurated the 500 kilometer Hawassa- Hegere Mariam -Moyale Road whose construction work had been completed signaling a major milestone in the bilateral relations between the two Countries. Thereafter the Heads of State conducted an inspection tour of the 23 Berth Lamu Port Project, infrastructure developments under the LAPSSET Corridor Project.
The LAPSSET Corridor Project embodies Kenya’s dream of becoming a newly Industrial Middle income economy by 2030, and facilitates Regional integration and interconnectivity within the African Continent, through Regional Infrastructure, Social and Economic Development.
Kenya and Ethiopia have come a long way in developing the LAPSSET Corridor Project, having various bilateral agreements and areas of cooperation such as: –
The Road Transport Status Agreement of 2011 that facilitates cross border movement of goods along the LAPSSET Corridor,
Special Status agreement to jointly develop the Moyale border town to into a regional logistics hub,
A Memorandum of Understanding of June 2016 on Cooperation in the Oil and Gas sector,
The two countries commitment to undertaking detailed technical study and designs to align the LAPSSET Corridor Railway line,
“Today marks yet another important milestone in the excellent relations that exist between our two nations. Indeed, with the completion of this border post the two countries have demonstrated the political goodwill to address the challenges and impediments facing businesses from both sides” The President said.
Status of Lamu Port
Kenya and Ethiopia have demonstrated tremendous progress towards the development of the LAPSSET Corridor; on the Kenyan side, Lamu Port a flagship project of the LAPSSET Corridor Project is at its advanced stages of completion.
Construction works for the 1st berth is complete while development of berths 2 and 3 is ongoing giving the Lamu Port Project a completion rate of 85% and is expected to be completed by October 2021.
Having a key length of 1,200M and a width of 800M, the 1st Berth of Lamu Port by international standards is huge having a capacity to handle and estimated 1,200,000 TEUs annually.
Some of the anticipated cargo to be transported through the LAPSSET Corridor include:
- Assorted minerals from Kenya
- Agricultural products from Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan
- Industrial products from Kenya and Ethiopia
- Livestock and Fish products from Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan
- Imported vehicles to Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan
- Imported industrial parts
- Crude Oil from Kenya and South Sudan
- Industrial outputs from the Lamu Special Economic Zone
- Product Oil to Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan
- Transshipment cargo will grow significantly considering that Lamu port will be the largest port of call in the East Coast of Africa.
Ethiopia’s Potential and value to the LAPSSET Corridor Project
Ethiopia is a strategic partner to Kenya, vital for the success of the LAPSSET Corridor Project owing to the huge potential and massive developments taking place. For instance; –
- The development of large Industrial Parks spread out throughout the country’s landscape, to the South of Ethiopia, for example the Hawassa Industrial Park and Adama Industrial Park specializing in textile, motor vehicle assembly and food processing.
- Ethiopia is undertaking the development of the Ethiopia Sugar Corporation at a cost, aiming to be the largest Sugar producer in Africa
- Construction of large Scale Leather Industries in Ethiopia as part of the livestock value chain.
These developments will create business for Lamu Port with these industrial products and raw materials forming a large bulk of cargo being imported/exported via Lamu Port.
The Prime Minister said, “The new Moyale OSBP will help expedite movement of goods and persons across the Kenya-Ethiopia border.” He also said Kenya and Ethiopia will continue working together on infrastructure and in maintenance of peace and security along the border region.
Special Economic Zone
In order to enhance the competitiveness of Lamu Port, the Lamu Transport and Infrastructure Master plan has been developed with a view of a world-class transport and logistics network and the Lamu Special Economic Zone has been planned for adjacent to Lamu Port. This SEZ contains heavy, medium, light and service industries ideal for manufacturing and processing of local or imported raw material, assembling, repair, maintenance and the transport and logistics sector. This will play a big role also in fulfilling Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda championed by the Head of State.
Lamu Port and the SEZ combined, have a capacity to employ thousands and inject millions of dollars into the economy opening up more opportunistic investments in Lamu, cities and urban centres; transforming Lamu into Kenya’s future Port City and Industrial Hub.
Transport Network – Isiolo Moyale Highway, One Stop Border Post
A robust transport network is crucial for the success of any Port and Regional development. To that end the 505 KM Isiolo – Moyale road is complete, this road joins to Ethiopia via the 500KM Moyale – Hawassa road. Furthermore, the One Stop Border Post in the Border Town of Moyale is complete, consolidating border control functions in a shared space between the two Countries easing the movement of goods and people to and fro.
Lamu Port currently connects to this road section via the Lamu-Witu- Garsen, Garissa – Modagashe – Isiolo road section, as the 250KM Lamu –Garissa road section whose tendering process for improvement to bitumen standards is ongoing having completed Feasibility studies, Environmental Social Impact Assessment and Engineering Designs.
(LAPSSET Railway line)
As a long term Plan, the LAPSSET Standard Gauge Railway Line is to connect and facilitate cargo movement from Lamu Port in Kenya to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and planned to run from Lamu to Isiolo to Moyale and onward to Addis Ababa through Hawassa City.
Preliminary engineering design studies were completed and due diligence undertaken on the Kenyan side.
The two countries are committed to undertaking detailed technical study and designs to align the lines between the two States.