Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday commissioned the 420 million U.S. dollars Isiolo-Moyale road in northern region which connects Kenya to Ethiopia.
The Isiolo-Moyale road is the Kenyan section of the Trans-Africa Highway Corridor, which was upgraded to bitumen standards by the government with support of the African Development Bank (ADB) and China Exim Bank.
The Isiolo-Moyale highway is also a key plank of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) Corridor Project, an economic and transport corridor that stretches from Lamu port in the coastal Kenya to South Sudan and Ethiopia.
The road project was implemented in three phases: 121 km Merille River-Marsabit, 121 km Marsabit-Turbi and 121 km Turbi-Moyale.
Speaking during the launch, Kenyatta said the commissioning of the new road and the Isiolo International Airport last week will promote cross-border trade and lift the lives of Kenyans.
“There will no longer be challenges of traveling and even accessing markets for our goods and services. With this road and the Isiolo international airport, Kenyans are sure of improving their economy,” he said.
Kenyatta said his administration is also implementing the Lamu port project which will be completed by next year.
He said once complete the government will launch the construction of Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo road which will open up the second transport corridor in Kenya.
“With the opening up of this road, Moyale will become a market centre for Kenyan goods and services. Our brothers from Ethiopia will be coming here to purchase goods from us,” said President Kenyatta.
“Once all these projects are complete, Moyale residents will not be waking up saying they are going to Kenya. Rather they will enjoy all services like other Kenyan citizens,” he added.
The road is also a key link to the Great North Trans African Highway that links Cape Town, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt and has been identified as a priority project in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) short-term action plan.
Coupled with the planned resort city of Isiolo as well as the Isiolo International Airport, the Isiolo-Moyale road will significantly boost security and tourism in Northern Kenya.
Kenyatta said the new road is also set to open up Northern tourism belt to increase the tourism activities in Mt. Kenya, Samburu, Meru, Aberdares and Marsabit National Parks as well as the wildlife conservancies within the region.
He said the reason he is seeking a second term, is so that Jubilee can entrench the transformational development trend the country has embarked on over the last four-and-a-half years.