BY DARGIE KAHSAY
ADDIS ABABA-The Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project, which aims to connect Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan via road, rail, air and petroleum pipeline said to demonstrate substantial infrastructural progress and it is in a good shape to enhance connectivity among the three countries.
The above remark came at the High Level Regional Meeting held yesterday at the UN Conference Centre.
Addressing the meeting, Ethiopia’s Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said that the main section of Ethiopian side of the project is near to completion as the 92 km express road is completed, the Moyale one stop center inaugurated and preparation of necessary legislations are completed.
The minister further stated that Ethiopia is desirous to utilize the newly-inaugurated Lamu Port with a view to diversifying port alternatives. Ethiopia plans to double the current 17 million tons annual import-export freight to 32 million tons in ten years and the inclusion of Lamu Port has a pivotal role for the success of the goal.
By the same token, Kenya-East African Community and Regional Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said that Lamu Port is able to handle some of the biggest ships in the world with the capacity of more than 12,000 TEUs. Two expansion parts of the port are set to operational by October 2021.
Adam claimed that Kenya has registered tremendous progress in the expansion of critical infrastructures and has continued to do so.
South Sudan’s Director for Budget at the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Scopas Malak G. Buli for his part stated that South Sudan is working for the realization of the project and attaches unwavering commitment till completion.
African Union High Representative for Infrastructure, Raila Odinga noted during the discussion that the dream of regional and continental integration become real through interstate infrastructural connectivity and LAPSSET is among the key projects to realize AU’s vision of integrated Africa.
Following the discussion, the three countries established a string committee for the smooth coordination of the project’s activities.
LAPSSET was launched in March 2012 in Lamu Port, Kenya with the presence of Ethiopian, Kenya and South Sudan leaders, it was learned.
The Ethiopian Herald June 29/2021