President Uhuru Kenyatta is currently attending the 13th Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) Summit in Kampala, Uganda.
President Kenyatta and the other President’s at the Summit are reviewing the progress made under the NCIP initiative. President’s Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and representatives of South Sudan and Tanzania are attending the Summit being held at the Speke Resort.
The Heads of State were first scheduled to hold consultations before attending a session where they will be briefed on project clusters coordinated by Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
Kenya is coordinating projects that include power generation, transmission and interconnectivity, crude oil pipeline, commodities exchange, human resource capacity building and land.
The project cluster coordinated by Uganda includes the Standard Gauge Railway, Information Communication, oil refinery, political federation and financing. Rwanda coordinates immigration, tourism, trade, labour and services, single customs territory, mutual defence cooperation, mutual peace and security cooperation and airspace management.
Major strides have been achieved in the integration projects with the Kenya section of the Standard Gauge Railway being one of the areas where huge progress has been made.
Construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR section has now reached 75 percent and is expected to be completed by 2017.
A commercial contract and financing agreement for the Nairobi-Naivasha SGR section has been signed and construction expected to begin by September.
Kenya has also signed a commercial agreement with China Communication Construction Company for the Naivasha-Kisumu-Malaba sections and construction of a modern port at Kisumu and the Kenya Government is currently sourcing funding.
On the Uganda part of the SGR, preparations are at advanced stages and the Ugandan Government has signed a commercial contract with China Habour Engineering Company for the Malaba-Kampala section.
Feasibility studies for the Rwanda and South Sudan sections of the SGR is expected to be ready by June 2016 and December 2016 respectively.
On ICT, the partner states are working to develop a framework for regional data roaming with a proposed maximum retail tariff of Ksh11.
The partner states have already adopted a Regional Broadband Strategy and are fast tracking the development of legal and regulatory framework to curb vandalism of fibre optic infrastructure.
The NCIP member countries are also in consultations with their respective Central Banks with a view to ensuring interoperability between mobil money operators.
Ministers of Trade from the partner states have been directed to fast track development and adoption of legal and regulatory frameworks with Capital Markets Authorities in each of the countries tasked to facilitate regional interconnection in line with the goal of having inter-linked regional trading platforms.
The partner states are also expected to adopt the Draft Accession Treaty to the Defence Pact during this Summit and respective ministers are to consider the final Mechanism for Comprehensive Conflict and Dispute Resolution.
The partner states are also expected to discuss a cooperation agreement on the transfer of prisoners and offenders and report progress to the 14th Summit. Kenya will take the lead in drafting guidelines for the implementation of the cooperation agreement and his a meeting at the end of May.
The Committee of Minister are also expected to consider and adopt the Implementation Framework on the Management of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.