China grants Kenya Sh1.2bn for a second port at Lamu

The bulk of the money will be in the development of a second port at Lamu and the construction of a rail and road corridor from the Coast to Isiolo.

This will link the Kenyan Coast to Southern Sudan and land-locked Ethiopia to the north.

A statement after talks between President Kibaki and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao said the port will take top priority. It is estimated to cost $16 billion (Sh1.2 trillion).

“My visit today, the third one in a five years, underscores the close relations between Kenya and China,” said President Kibaki.

The port will have 22 berths with a quay on 1,000 acres. It will serve Ethiopia, currently served by Djibouti port.

President Hu described Mr Kibaki as a true and old friend of China. He said Mr Kibaki’s leadership had set Kenya on the growth path to drive the economies of East and Central Africa.

President Kibaki said China was a genuine development partner and critical ally in Kenya’s economic revival with total bilateral assistance of Sh42 billion.

He added that Kenya’s development cooperation with China was anchored on the Forum for China Africa Cooperation Action Plan adopted during the fourth Ministerial Conference at Sharm-El-Shiekh in Egypt last year.

Mr Kibaki’s State visit to China included attending the Shanghai World Expo that opened on Saturday. He officially opened the Kenyan exhibition stand. The President and the ministers accompanying him toured the stands of Ghana and Rwanda.

Only five African countries have built their own pavilions. They are South Africa, Libya, Algeria, Nigeria and Angola.

On Friday evening, President Kibaki joined his host Mr Hu and other heads of state including French President Nicolas Sarkozy, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Malawi President Bingu Wa Mutharika, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and North Koreas number two Kim Yong-nam at the grand reception and opening ceremony of the Expo at the park next to Shanghai’s Huangpu River.

President Kibaki affirmed the Kenyan government had adopted a pragmatic approach that would transform the country into a middle income economy in line with Vision 2030, the country’s development blue print.

The Chinese leader committed himself to encouraging investors to open businesses in Kenya and more tourists to visit.

President Hu announced new areas of cooperation with Kenya in health and education

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