Regional leaders are exploring ways to jointly finance the Lamu Port, Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project.
The leaders who attended a consultative meeting in Nairobi on Thursday were President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan.
In a statement read by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the end of the meeting, the leaders noted that the seven components of the LAPSSET project require an estimated 24.5 billion USD- for the Lamu Port alone 3.1 billion USD.
"With the large sums involved, it was clear to us that a joint approach that is innovative will be required for implementation," the leaders said.
During the meeting, the leaders explored the complexities of shortening the period between project conceptualization and the realization of a sustainable financial model that will deliver implementation.
The four regional leaders said their discussion was especially informed by the upcoming Africa-USA Summit from August 4 to 7 that will allow them a chance to engage with American investors on the LAPSSET project.
"This is a continuation of similar engagements that are being held with investors from across the Middle East and the Indian Ocean Rim," they said.
The leaders also dwelt on the need for regional peace and security to provide the conditions in which the LAPSSET project and many others will deliver the full benefits of growth and equity to the region's progress.
The project involves the development of a new transport corridor from the new port of Lamu through Garissa, Isiolo, Mararal, Lodwar and Southern Sudan.
Source: MoFA, allAfrica.com