Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa and Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos are set to become even more closely linked if a grand plan first envisioned more than four decades ago sees the light of day.
Raila Odinga, who was recently appointed African Union special envoy for infrastructure development, has announced plans to construct a 6,000km road linking Mombasa, Kenya to Lagos, Nigeria in bid to link Africa through modern highways and railways.
“Primary projects will be an 8,000 kms highway linking Cairo (Egypt) to Dakar in Senegal. Another 8,000 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.
The Kenyan 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.
He intends to oversee construction of 6,000km Trans-African highway project first commissioned in 1971 to open up continent for trade.
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Raila said he believed land transport was an integral part of the continent’s economic growth, adding that he intended to have another 4,700kms road between Dakar and Lagos built.
Out of nine highways proposed over four decades ago, only the 4,500kms of roadway between Dakar and N’Djamena in Chad has been constructed.
“My belief is that having reliable road infrastructure and railways linking all corners of Africa will open up the continent and make it a gateway to the 21st century. Through my new position I am determined to take Africa to economic independence,” said Raila.