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World Bank approves US$300 million to upgrade 221kms of roads and improve air transport in Kenya

April 21, 2011

Project to reduce bottlenecks on the Tanzania-Kenya-Sudan road corridor, strengthen regional integration and support growth of key economic sectors

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2011—The World Bank has approved US$300 million for reconstruction of Kenya’s major western transport corridor to improve business climate in the region and strengthen regional integration of the East African Community.

The Kenya Transport Sector Support Project approved by the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today will finance the upgrading of the Kisumu-Kakamega-Webuye-Kitale on the Tanzania-Kenya-Sudan transport corridor and the rehabilitation of sections of the Northern Corridor transport system in Coast Province. It will also support the improvement of the runway at Mombasa International Airport, Kenya’s second largest airport.

“The Bank is making this substantial investment in Kenya’s two most important road corridors as part of its effort to help Kenya transform into a modern middle-income economy,” says Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Kenya. “This project will reduce bottlenecks on transit traffic and trade, particularly in the western region, opening up trade and investment opportunities for Kenya and the wider East African region.”

The Bank, the Government of Kenya and other partners are investing US$478 million in the project with a major focus on the Tanzania-Kenya-Sudan Corridor, which also has links to Uganda and Ethiopia. It is the second largest transport system after the Northern Corridor—which is also being improved with the support of another US$460 million of Bank support.

“The project will support the implementation of Vision 2030 and help consolidate Kenya’s position as a regional transportation hub, “, says Supee Teravaninthorn,  World Bank Sector Manager for Transport., 

The two corridors serve about 70 percent of Kenya’s 38 million people and link businesses that contribute an estimated 80 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

The new project will increase the efficiency of road transport along the two interlinked corridors, raise aviation safety and security at Kenya’s airports to international standards, and improve the institutional arrangements and capacity of the transport sector. It will also support the Government to deepen transport sector reforms, including strengthening regulatory and oversight institutions.

"The Transport Sector Support Project includes priority infrastructure investments required for Kenya’s long term development strategy,” says Josphat Sasia, the Task Team Leader of the Project. “It supports the implementation of institutional, policy reforms and investments plans in the transport sector developed by the government with the assistance of the Bank and other development partners.”

Other partners in the transport sector investment program include the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The financing is provided on standard terms of the International Development Association (IDA)—the World Banks’ concessionary lending arm—which include a 40-year maturity with a 10-year grace period.

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