Nairobi, Kenya — President Mwai Kibaki has welcomed Japan's support of Sh29 billion towards the construction of the Dongo Kundu bypass.
The president said the signing of the loan agreement between Kenya and Japan paved the way for the commencement of the construction of the bypass that will not only ease traffic in the coastal city of Mombasa but also open up the South Coast for rapid development.
President Kibaki urged coastal residents to take advantage of the Dongo Kundu bypass by diversifying and expanding their income generating activities.
The Head of State was speaking on Saturday at State House Nairobi during a meeting with the visiting Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President Akihiko Tanaka.
During the meeting, the president also thanked the Japanese government for providing a grant towards the construction of a dual carriage-way on Ngong Road.
He also appealed to the Japanese government to consider funding three berths at the Port of Lamu at an estimated cost of Sh2.1 billion and called for the fast-tracking of ongoing consultations towards this endeavour.
The president also commended the government of Japan for successfully conducting the feasibility studies of Lamu Port and Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) project.
President Kibaki also acknowledged the government of Japan's support for Kenya's agriculture, education and health sectors.
The president noted that, to date, cumulative Japan assistance to Kenya stands at Sh419 billion with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Mombasa Airport Improvement Project, New Nyali Bridge, Mtwapa, Kilifi, Athi and Ikutha bridges being some of the major projects that benefited from this funding.
The JICA president, who is in the country to familiarize himself with projects supported by his government, pledged Japan's continued financial and technical cooperation towards Kenya's Vision 2030 flagship projects.
Tanaka hailed the existing good relations between Kenya and Japan and vowed to work towards enhancing the friendly bilateral ties between the two countries.
President Kibaki and Tanaka also discussed the security situation in Somalia.
Noting that the term of the Transition Federal Government is coming to an end and elections will be held in August this year, President Kibaki and Tanaka underscored the need for the international community to support the stabilization and reconstruction of Somalia.
Tanaka commended Kenya's commitment to addressing the security situation in Somalia and region, noting that no single incidence of piracy has taken place since the entry of the Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia.
On environment, the JICA president pledged his country's support for Kenya's agenda in the forthcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO +20) in Brazil in respect of the upgrading of the UNEP in Nairobi.
Present during the meeting were Finance Minister Njeru Githae, acting Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia and Finance Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua.