The Treasury has signed a Kshs 1.31 billion funding agreement with Trade Mark East Africa for construction of four key infrastructure projects along the Northern Corridor to boost transport efficiency and enhance EAC intra-trade.
The National Treasury has said the money will finance construction of the proposed Busia Jumuiya Cross Border Market, a road linking Busia One Stop Border Post and Busia Town, Magongo Road in Mombasa and completion of the Malaba One Stop Border Post.
The Kshs 2 billion Busia Jumuiya Cross Border Market which sits on a 40-acre piece of land will take the largest portion of funding at Kshs 485.3 million to finance construction of phase 1.
Phase 1 of the project has been designed to accommodate retail section and will cost Kshs 559.3 million with the government of Kenyan and the Danish government providing the balance.
The market which is expected to facilitate trade between Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo will host at least 2000 traders and has been fitted with all-weather stored, stalls and cold rooms to help cut post-harvest losses.
Dualling of the 1.7km road which links Busia Town to the Busia One Stop Border Post at a cost of Kshs 327 million is also expected to commence with funding commitment from the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth Development Office through Trade Mark EA.
The narrow road has been blamed for heavy traffic involving transit trucks frequently witnessed at the Busia border, a factor which adds to overall cost of doing business in the region.
The National Treasury Ukur Yatani has said the establishment of One Stop Border Posts have expedited movement of goods and people, reduced transport costs across national boundaries, improved cross-border security, cross-border co-operation and increased collection of trade taxes.
Malaba One Stop Border Post whose construction stalled has also been earmarked for completion by end of next year after the government secured funding from FCDO through Trade Mark to the tune of Kshs 403 million.
“Improving the efficiency and capacity of transport and logistics networks will help reduce cost of trade, thus boosting economic growth and increasing income,” said Dr. Rick Erlebach, FCDO Development Director.
Treasury has also secured additional Kshs 200 million for dualling of the Kshs 5 billion Magongo Road project.
The additional amount now pushed Trade Mark’s total project funding to Kshs 1.1 billion and Government of Kenya 3.9 billion.