Kenya’s Raila Odinga Starts AU Job Reviving Big Africa Infrastructure

Kenya’s Raila Odinga Starts AU Job Reviving Big Africa Infrastructure

Recently appointed as the African Union special envoy for infrastructure development in the continent Raila Odinga has announced plans to construct a 6,000km road linking Mombasa in Kenya to Lagos in Nigeria in bid to link Africa through modern highways and railways.

The opposition leader, indicated that linking Kenya to Nigeria via road will be among his priorities as African Union’s high representative of infrastructure and development.

Odinga stated that he intends to oversee construction of 60,000km highways linking the entire continent and the Trans-African highway project commissioned in 1971 to open up continent for trade.

“Primary projects will be an 8,000 kms highway linking Cairo (Egypt) to Dakar in Senegal. Another 8,0000 kms road will stretch from Cairo and Cape Town (South Africa). A 6,000kms road linking Mombasa (Kenya) to Lagos (Nigeria) is part of this ambitious project,” said Raila Odinga.

Apparently nine highways proposed over four decades ago, only the 4,500kms road between Dakar and N’Djamena in Chad had been constructed.

Africa’s infrastructure from all sources increased to $81.6bn in 2017 from $66.9bn in 2016, with the largest percentage of foreign investment coming from China according to a new ICA report, and the highest level of directly comparable commitments reported since 2010, and an increase of 22% compared to 2016.

The report also says biggest single factor driving the higher level of commitments in 2017 was an increase in identifiable Chinese investments, from $6.4bn in 2016 to $19.4bn in 2017. In addition, African national and sub-national government spending rose from $30.7bn in 2016 to $34.4bn in 2017.

The ICA’s annual publication identifies how resources are being mobilised to make an impact on Africa’s infrastructure development. The report covers all sources of infrastructure financing – including multilateral and bilateral donors, African state spending, development banks and the private sector.