Lamu-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) is a multi-million dollar development project of a new transport corridor to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia: This corridor will link the coastal town of Lamu, Kenya’s North Eastern province, Ethiopia and Southern Sudan. The project involves the development of a new transport corridor from the new port at Lamu through Garrisa to Isiolo; one branch through Mararal, Lokichar, Lokichogio to Juba, Southern Sudan; and the other branch at Isiolo through Marsabit, Moyale to Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia.
This multi-billion dollar project which will comprise a new free port at Lamu (Manda Bay), road network, railway line, fibre-optic cable, oil pipeline , oil refinery at Lamu , Lamu Airport and in addition to resort cities in Lamu and in Isiolo. In addition to raising the scope for this region’s tourism, agriculture and industrial potential, the project will open up access to Southern Sudan, which has huge unexploited natural resources, including oil and provide the land-locked Ethiopia a secondary option to sea from Djibouti. The project will be financed through the joint efforts of the Kenyan, South Sudan and Ethiopian governments through private-public partnerships.
The Kenya Vision 2030 is a national long term development blueprint that seeks to make Kenya a “middle income country providing quality life to all its citizens by the year 2030’’. The plan is founded on the economic, social and political pillars of the society.
The Vision 2030 runs from 2008 to 2030. Among the flagship projects in the blueprint are the Lamu port project and the Lamu–Juba rail-road-pipeline, Isiolo tourist resort city, Konza technology city, special new industrial parks, and Thika super-highway among others.
In the wider scope, the LAPSSET Corridor will create the Great Equatorial Land Bridge, connecting East and West coast of Africa connecting Kenya Lamu port to South-Sudan, Ethiopia, Central African Republic and Cameroon port of Doula.
Why the LAPSSET Project?
The Project will enhance Kenya’s position as a gateway and transport hub to the East African Sub-region and the Great Lakes Region;
Establish a reliable access to the sea for Northern and Eastern parts of Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia;
Facilitate trade, regional economic integration and inter-connectivity between East, Central and West African countries;
Reduce over-reliance on the only existing Northern Corridor;
Improve livelihoods of over 15 million people in Coast, North Eastern, Eastern and Rift Valley;
Facilitate trade and investment with South Sudan (over 4 million people) and Ethiopia (over 80 million people); and
Promote regional socio-economic development along the transport corridor especially in the Northern, Eastern, North-Eastern and Coastal parts of Kenya.
Source: Kenya Vision 2030, Ministry of Transport, Kenya.