THE Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will host Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and a Special Envoy of President Salva Kiir of South Sudan in Nairobi on Tuesday.
The leaders will convene at 14th Summit of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi.
The NCIP is a bilateral development initiative founded in 2013 and is aimed at speeding up development in the region. The initiative seeks to speedily improve infrastructure for easy movement of people, goods and services in the region.
The leaders are expected to review the progress made in the implementation of the various resolutions reached at during the 13th Summit held in Kampala on April 23, 2016.
Some of key projects expected to feature during the meeting is the Standard Gauge Railway where significant progress has been made with Kenya having successfully completed the Mombasa-Nairobi line and embarked on the Nairobi-Naivasha section which is now at 50 percent completion.
A commercial contract for the Naivasha-Kisumu-Malaba sections and a modern port at Kisumu has already been signed with the China Communication Construction Company (CCCC).
On its part, Uganda signed a commercial contract with China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) in March 2015 and recently completed the project appraisal exercise which was held parallel to the ongoing negotiations of financing which are expected to be finalized by September this year.
Rwanda had her first round of engineering design of the new SGR line from Kampala to Kigali completed in January 2018.
South Sudan’s groundwork for a bankable feasibility study for the Nimule-Juba SGR line is on-going and is expected to be complete by December 2018.
Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract for the line has been signed and the process for obtaining a commercial loan from China EXIM Bank is in its early stages.
Apart from the SGR, the Heads of State and the Special Envoy will be briefed on the progress being made in ICT and will be keen on the status of the One Network Area (ONA) for voice which is fully operational in all the partner states, while ONA for data is operational in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
Other key issues for discussion
Expected to feature in the meeting will be the steps forward of the oil refinery where Uganda signed a Project Framework Agreement (PFA) in April 2018 with the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium to design, develop, finance and operate a refinery in Hoima.
Final Investment Decision (FID) is expected to be made available by May 2019.
The Land for the refinery has already been acquired. Kenya has been requested to indicate the entity that will hold its 2.5 percent shareholding in the refinery.
Consequently, partner countries have made tremendous progress in implementing their respective 220kV power transmission lines. Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya completed and commissioned their lines apart from the Bujagali-Tororo transmission line in Uganda, which is at 85% completion. In addition, partner states are working on a feasibility study on the standardization of 400kV lines, while ensuring full implementation of 220kV transmission lines.
On the other hand, crude oil pipeline project, commodities exchange, human resource capacity building and land are among key issues to be discussed by the East African leaders in Nairobi.