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S. Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya to expedite joint infrastructure project

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June 29, 2021 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya have reiterated their commitment to expedite the implementation of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) program.

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Speaking at a high-level ministerial meeting on Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s Minister of Transport Dagmawit Moges said infrastructure provision is Africa’s top priority as the continent is moving toward integration and that African states need to closely work together to achieve that goal.

“As Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan have a common goal that aims to attain economic growth and prosperity, narrowing our common infrastructure gap should be our common concern. And this can only be achieved through regional consensus and committed action,” he said.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for East African Community and Regional Development, Adan Mohammed, said Africa is challenged by unemployment, especially among the youth, low levels of intra-African trade and industrialization, and inefficient agriculture.

“The other major issue which is the subject of why we are meeting today is the poor infrastructure that links the continent of Africa together. And that is why we believe that LAPSSET and similar programs will play a very big role reversing these challenges that we are facing today as a continent,” said Mohammed.

He added, “For Africa to realize its potential of regional integration through transformative regional infrastructure, harmonization of monitoring policies, standards, the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers, improving business climate must be the continued areas of focus for all of us on the continent".

For his part, South Sudan’s Director General of Road Transport and Safety, Lado Tongun Tombe, said the project would link his country to areas within the region.

The LAPSSET Corridor Program is Eastern Africa’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure project bringing together Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Starting from Lamu in Kenya, the project includes highways, ports, railways, oil pipeline and airports in these countries.

(ST)

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