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Ministers commit to expedite LAPSSET project

By William Madouk

A three-day council of ministers meeting for Lamu Port- South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) in South Sudan ended with calls to speed up the implementation of the trilateral infrastructure project.

The meeting brought together members of the LAPSSET countries, which include Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan as the host of the third ministerial meeting.

The representatives from LAPSSET Corridor Program made a tour of the newly constructed Freedom Bridge in Juba on Friday.

South Sudan Minister of Transport, Madut Biar said the Juba Freedom Bridge is part of the LAPSSET infrastructure project because it creates connectivity to the three member countries.

“We visited this bridge just to show to our colleagues in LAPSSET that this is one of the few bridges that connects South Sudan with Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda,” Biar said.

“This is the main link of South Sudan to LAPSSET member countries. We are also going to build more bridges along the river Nile here in Juba, Mangalla, Bor, and Malakal that will also connect Ethiopia to the northern parts of South Sudan.” he added.

Meanwhile, Director General of the LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority in Kenya, Mr. Stephen Ikua hailed the Government of South Sudan for the milestone achievement.

“I want to appreciate the Government of South Sudan for the work they have done because the three LAPSSET partner states were just coming to assess how ready we are to offtake this project that the three governments are committed to doing,” he said.

“We have been sitting over there in Nairobi and thinking that South Sudan has not done anything yet here we are, and we have seen the (new) bridge. This is what we call connectivity.” he continued.

Director of the Regional Integration Trade Division for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Mr. Stephen Karingi, said Ethiopia and Kenya have realized the development through LAPSSET.

He also stressed that South Sudan should follow suit.

“I am reminding Kenya and the Republic of South Sudan to complete the remaining part of the projects for the people to realize the connection and infrastructure in the country,” Karingi noted.

LAPSSET project is a transport and infrastructure project involving Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.

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