National, News

Juba, Nairobi sign growth boost deal

By Bida Elly David


South Sudan and Kenya have agreed to boost infrastructural development to ease mobility of people and trade between the two sisterly countries.

Over the weekend, President Salva Kiir led a delegation to Nairobi, Kenya, on a one-day state visit to meet his counterpart William Ruto for bilateral talks.

President’s office said in statement that the two heads of state held bilateral discussions on trade, investment and infrastructural development.

“South Sudan and Kenya commit to expanding bilateral ties in areas of trade, investment, and infrastructure development to enhance regional cooperation,” a statement on Kiir’s official page partly reads.

The meeting between the two heads of state prioritized connection of fibre optics to boost connectivity that can ease communication networks.

“While in Kenya, Kiir and Ruto witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a fibre optic cable along the Eldoret-Juba Road to enhance connectivity between the two countries,” the statement added.

Presidents Salva Kiir and William Ruto also discussed the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport Corridor project (LAPSSET) progress and development.

The two heads of state, however, did not clarify in their meeting when the project would be effective under the agreement signed on Saturday.

The duo further discussed peace in the region, with a focus on de-escalating the armed conflict in the neighboring republic of Sudan.

Presidents Kiir and Ruto, however, agreed to first improve security between the two countries before the infrastructure project kicks off as planned.

South Sudan is a strategic partner for Kenya in many areas. Both countries have cultural similarities, as many people from South Sudan lived in Kenya before independence.

The Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) is working with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Kenya Highways Authority to mainstream climate adaptation and resilience into a US$223 million investment to upgrade critical transport links between Kenya and South Sudan.

The project will enhance connectivity along the Lesseru-Nadapal-Juba road corridor, to reduce travel time and cost, and improve safety along the road.

The project aims to promote uninterrupted trade and communication between Kenya and South Sudan.

It will link landlocked South Sudan to a seaport, boost export-oriented agricultural development in the region, and contribute to the economic and social empowerment of the local population, as well as enhancing the capacity for job creation.

But South Sudan is behind schedule to complete construction of its part of the Juba-Torit-Nadapal road project, connecting to the Kenyan border.


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