As stakeholders of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) met for the 11th time, two new countries expressed interest in the ambitious fellowship; The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Ethiopia – and yet they are not members of the East African Community but see potential in the project.
Even the African Development Bank was represented, an indication that the transport corridor that links Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda, is now attracting new suitors who see the benefits.
When the Heads of State of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda first met in June 2013 to hammer out the project, they agreed to meet every two months; that was the sense of urgency as the region seeks to push forward and improve its economic prospects.
The countries even appointed focal points to speed up the implementation process and the speed by which quick results – such as the Single Tourist Visa that covers the three nations is already bearing fruits as visitors have more options at their fingertips.
The other major projects, such as the Standard Gauge Railway line that will run from the port city of Mombasa to Kigali, as well as an oil pipeline will come with a heavy price tag. That is why the three countries jointly embarked on seeking the necessary funding.
With the coming on board of Ethiopia and the DRC – as well as South Sudan, (and when Burundi sorts out its issues) it means that the financial burden to implement the wide array of projects will be shared by all.