Ethiopia-Kenya mega link projects back on the agenda

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Ethiopia and Kenya on Monday revisited plans for a series of mega link infrastructure projects between the neighbouring countries.

Ethiopia’s new prime minister Abiy Ahmed met with Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta on his first tour of the country since becoming PM, where the two leaders discussed accelerating development plans similar to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was agreed two years ago but never implemented.

Leaders work to accelerate development plans

“They [Ahmed and Kenyatta] committed to the development of Lapsset, the Northern Corridor including road network between Isiolo, Moyale through to Addis Ababa and the railway from Addis Ababa to Nairobi,” a joint statement said on Monday.

“Both sides agreed to finalise the Ethiopia-Kenya interconnection transmission line. Both sides agreed to jointly supervise and inspect the Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo-Moyale and Moyale-Hawassa-Addis Ababa road networks.”

The Lapsset project was launched in 2012 but funding issues have restricted progress and now Ahmed and Kenyatta are calling on private corporations to take a more active role in the project.

“The two leaders strongly encouraged members of their respective private sectors to identify potential areas for engagement and pledged to continue improving the business environment and create maximum incentives for successful commerce,” the same statement said.

A new focus on inclusive development

Aside from mega link projects, Ethiopia and Kenya’s leaders also announced new plans for inclusive development strategies. This includes reducing restrictions on trade across the border and allowing companies to market to audiences in both countries.

Primarily, Ethiopia and Kenya’s national airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways, will be permitted unrestricted marketing rights in both territories. The aim is to fast-track the development of aviation sectors in the neighbouring countries, which marks a significant change in Ethiopia’s protectionist policy regarding its national airline.

Featured image: By DFID – UK Department for International Development – Golden opportunities in Ethiopia, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30786773

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.