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Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, accompanied by members of his Cabinet, officially launched, on Thursday, January 22, the commencement of the construction of the Nairobi Outer Ring Road Improvement Project, jointly financed by the African Development Bank and the Government of Kenya.
The total cost of the rehabilitation of the Outer Ring Road is estimated at UA 86.4 million (approximately USD 125.18 million), of which the African Development Fund (ADF) is financing UA 77.6 million (equivalent to USD 112.43 million), while the Kenya Government will contribute UA 8.8 million (or USD 12.75 million).
The project involves the construction of a 13-kilometre-long dual highway to traverse the northern and eastern districts of Nairobi city. It also entails the construction of missing links covering about 16 km. Once completed, the entire project will drastically decongest the environs of the two districts, including arterial roads connecting Nairobi-Thika Highway, Eastern Bypass, Northern Bypass, Mombasa Road, and the Jomo-Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). Consequently, the project will contribute to creating conducive business environment and improving travel conditions for commuters.
Speaking at the ceremony, attended by a broad spectrum of stakeholders including Members of Parliament and Nairobi County Government Officials as well as thousands of residents of the Eastland suburb of Nairobi, the Director for the African Development Bank’s East Africa Regional Resource Centre (EARC), Gabriel Negatu, said that, after the Nairobi-Thika Highway financed by the AfDB, the Nairobi Outer Ring Road Improvement Project adds to the suite of bold initiatives guaranteed to contribute to the modernization of the city of Nairobi. Upon completion, the project will result in the transformation of the outer ring into a four-lane highway, with interchanges and overpasses and construction of link roads. Besides, the project will be fitted with foot paths, cycle lanes as well as incorporate a nine-metre Bus Rapid corridor to be constructed at a later stage.
The Regional Director reiterated that the project will transform livelihoods through the creation of sustainable opportunities in terms of jobs and businesses. He also underscored the fact that the project is designed to respond to Kenya’s shortage of relevant skills in artisans and technicians mainly due to a mismatch in training and the labour market needs: “At least 500 youths from poor and vulnerable backgrounds will be trained mainly in roads and highway related middle-level programs. The training areas will include cobblestone technology; building and construction; and plant operations,” he added.
In concluding the launching ceremony, President Kenyatta thanked the AfDB Group for its support to development of Kenya in general, and in particular, for financing this project, which is a critical part of Government’s commitment to Kenya’s Vision 2030. In addition, the President urged the implementing agency, Kenya Urban Road Authority (KURA) to ensure that the project does not run over time while also assuring quality.