Road & fibre optic cable project linking Kenya & South Sudan launched

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As part of the Eastern Africa Regional Transport, Trade and Development Facilitation Project, Kenya and South Sudan will be connected to a high-speed fibre optic cable. The project will also build a road linking the two countries from Eldoret to Lodwar and Juba. A common border post will also be built at the interconnection of the two countries.

The ICT Authority is implementing the Kenyan side of the project through a World Bank fund estimated at a cost of USD 25.5 million while the South Sudan side is estimated to cost USD 15 million. The road construction between Lokichar and Nedapal is worth USD 500 million and will be funded by World Bank. The full cost of the road construction from Eldoret to Sudan border is an estimated USD 1.2 million. The construction will start in May 2016 and is expected to be completed in February 2019.

Once completed, the two countries are set to benefit from faster movement of goods and people along with enhanced internet connectivity. The connectivity will be used by towns and facilities along the corridor including schools, hospitals, government offices and telecommunications operators. It will also provide Last Mile Fibre Connectivity to Turkana county headquarters from the Backbone and also provide network redundancy for existing links. Towns expected to benefit from an upgrade of existing internet points include Lokichogio, Kakuma, Lokichar, Lodwar, Kitale and Eldoret.

The approach of implementing fibre and road construction at the same time is a new government initiative of integrated infrastructure development that is expected to save costs and speed up development Through the Ministry of ICT, Kenya had already entered into an MOU with South Sudan through the Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services on January 23, 2015 in relation to the construction of the fibre optic cable that will interconnect both countries.

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