31 July 2014

East Africa: Statement By Regional Leaders On LAPSSET

Statement by the Heads of State of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan on the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project

Today, we held a Summit of Heads of State and Government at State House, Nairobi to explore joint financing options for the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project. I was joined by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda; H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan.

Our meeting was the latest chapter in a deepening integration agenda that is focused on opening up the region to trade and investment and ensuring that its enterprises are globally competitive. LAPSSET is an integrated and transformative infrastructure project that will provide regional economic integration and interconnectivity that generates the investment and trade flows that are so crucial to ensuring that the region is able to deliver the shared prosperity that is the key to decent livelihoods and sustained peace and security.

The seven project components of the project require an estimated budget of $24.5 Billion (Kshs. 2 Trillion). Lamu Port alone with its 32 projected berths alone will cost $3.1 Billion.

With the large sums involved, it was clear to us that a joint approach that is innovative will be required for implementation. At length, we explored the complexities of shortening the period between project conceptualization and the realization of a sustainable financial model that will deliver implementation. We sought to learn from the African Development Bank's Africa50 Infrastructure Fund approach, and how our joint efforts can help make a compelling business case to private sector players.

Our discussion was especially informed by the upcoming Africa-USA Summit on 4-7 August 2014 that will allow the leaders a chance to engage with American investors on this project. This being a continuation of similar engagements that are being held with investors from across the Middle East and the Indian Ocean Rim.

We briefly dwelt on the critical necessity of regional peace and security to provide the conditions in which this and other projects will deliver the full benefits of growth and equity to a region hungry for progress.

Thank you.

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