Construction works on the new Lamu port, which is part of the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project, will begin next month.
This was announced yesterday by Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, during the opening of the country’s first National Maritime Conference. The conference was convened to discuss and develop a national action plan on how Kenyans can benefit from the country’s maritime resources.
According to Kenyatta, the project will provide an opportunity for the exploitation of the country’s maritime resources. He also emphasized that special focus must be put on training so that the country’s maritime skills match the infrastructure being developed.
“We are as keen to develop our people’s skills as we are to build the infrastructure that supports them,” President Kenyatta said, adding that one of the country’s universities will soon start to offer training in maritime studies.
Noting that Kenya’s maritime domain which extends over 230,000 square kilometers has not been fully tapped by Kenyans, President Kenyatta said this potential can no longer be ignored.
International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General, Koji Semizu, described the country’s maritime resources as the ‘blue economy’, saying a lot needs to be done to fully develop the sector.
He said Africa has huge potential in maritime development and IMO is ready to help African countries’ action plans.
The $25.5 billion worth Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) project includes a new port, new roads, a 1,500km railway line and a pipeline all to be built by 2030. The plans for the new Lamu port call for construction of 32 berths, with the $449 million contract for the first three berths already awarded to China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC).