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Kenya and Uganda on Monday launched the Northern Economic Corridor Master Plan that provides the blueprint for the development of infrastructure that interconnects the East African region.

NAIROBI – Kenya and Uganda on Monday launched the Northern Economic Corridor Master Plan that provides the blueprint for the development of infrastructure that interconnects the East African region.

Kenya’s Ministry of Transport Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, Infrastructure Secretary Francis Gitau told a forum in Nairobi that the corridor will link Kenya’s sea port of Mombasa to Uganda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

« The Northern Economic Corridor has several large bottlenecks in logistics which cause inefficiency of logistics and therefore hinders growth in the region, » Gitau said.

« The aim of the master plan is to ensure that landlocked countries that depend on Kenya’s sea port can easily and conveniently access the rest of the world, » Gitau said during the International Seminar on the Northern Economic Corridor.

« When fully implemented, the master plan will reduce the cost and time of travel between the East African countries, » he said. The transport corridor will have multimodal options including road, rail, waterway and a pipeline.

The master plan also includes development of infrastructure to link agricultural and industrial production zones with key domestic and external markets.

Government data indicate that total import and export freight from the Mombasa port will hit 61 million tons in 2030, which is 2.3 times the current amount.

« We therefore need to upgrade the Northern Economic Corridor because it will handle most of the cargo, » he said.

The Kenyan official said that intra-Africa trade remains low compared to that of the rest of the world due to poor infrastructure links.