Kenya’s vision to transform into a middle-income economy by 2030 is taking shape with resources being directed to meet the infrastructure required to move the country into an industrialized nation.
Major changes have already taken place and the vision that looked unattainable when it was launched in June 2008 by then President Mwai Kibaki, is shaping up and the next few years will see Kenya’s face transformed completely through enormous and varied transport systems, energy and technology schemes among other developments.
Kenya’s Vision 2030 is the national long-term development policy aimed at transforming the nation into a middle-income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens in a clean and secure environment. The Vision comprises of three key pillars: Economic; Social; and Political. The Economic Pillar aims to achieve an average economic growth rate of 10 per cent per annum and sustaining the same until 2030.
Here are some of the major projects, some of which have kicked off and completed while others are underway. Once all these projects are complete as envisioned, Kenyans are set to enjoy the transformation.
Standard gauge Railway (SGR)
Started in October 2013 and scheduled to be completed by December 2017, the SGR project will provide ease movement of passengers and cargo between Mombasa, the largest port in East Africa, and Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya.
The railway line will also connect Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.
The biggest infrastructure project in Kenyan since independence, will see a construction of the 609km-long line and create more than 30,000 jobs during the construction.
The Mombasa-Nairobi phase is estimated to cost $3.8 billion with China Exim Bank providing 90% of financing and the remaining 10% will be contributed by the Kenyan Government.
The SGR project will also see the construction of the state-of-the-art new passenger stations at Voi, Nairobi and Mombasa.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, is the largest aviation hub in East Africa. With a new greenfield terminal under construction, the airport will be the largest in Africa when it opens next year.
The new greenfield terminal being constructed by architects Pascal + Watson at a cost around $600 million, will serve 20 million passengers a year.
The terminal building Phase 1 footprint will be 178,000m² providing 50 international and ten domestic check-in positions, 32 contact gates and eight remote gates. The taxiway system is built in such a way that it will be able to connect with a future second runway. Once completed, the terminal apron will provide 45 aircraft stands with flexible provision for narrow body and wide body aircraft.
This project has several components spearheaded by Kenya with an aim of developing and connecting three countries with the Lamu Port -South Sudan- Ethiopia- Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor.
Once completed, the project will strengthen Kenya’s position as a gateway and a transport and logistics hub to the East African sub-region and the Great Lakes region. LAPSSET will facilitate trade, promote regional economic integration and interconnectivity between African countries
a) Lamu Port
With the 32 berth port at Manda Bay, Lamu is set to transform into a business hub which will be used by business people along the southern corridor.
Further, the oil project still under LAPSSET, will see Kenya’s oil from Turkana fields connected to Ugandan and Southern Sudan reservoirs, thus opening up the country wider in the oil industry.
Another key component in the LAPSSET corridor is construction of highways to facilitate effective and efficient movement of people and goods. Some of the Highways have already been completed and are in use like the Isiolo-Marsabit-Moyale which is connecting to Ethiopia and opening up remote parks in these parts of the country.
Other roads include Lamu – Garissa, Garissa – Isiolo-Ngiyang which are funded by African Development Bank, and Lokichar-Nakodok road of the Eldoret-Kitale-Lodwar-Sudan Corridor, with funding from World Bank and other development partners.
c) Resort Cities Lamu, Isiolo, Lokichogio
The three resort cities are envisaged under LAPSSET as well. The luxury resorts will have five-star hotel facilities, national parks, golf-courses, leisure parks theatres and amusement parks.
These projects are expected to boost business in the respective regions and Kenya at large. They are also expected to attract investment opportunities and real estate development, increase tourism and provide jobs to residents.
Each project will take into consideration the historical backgrounds in which they are set which will further increase its attractiveness to the tourists and business people.
d) Airports at Lamu, Isiolo, and Lokichogio
Plans are underway to improve facilities at three airports, Lamu, Isiolo and Lokichogio. Already, the improvement works on Lokichogio Airport are complete and its operational with scheduled flights landing at the airport.
The lengthening of Lamu Manda Island Airport runway from 1.1km to 2.3 kms and improvement works of the terminal building are complete. These renovations will enhance the capacity of the airport that experiences strong scheduled flights.
The Isiolo Airport has now a complete 2.3 km runway while the construction of new terminal building is ongoing.
Konza Tech City
Located 60 kilometers from the capital Nairobi, Konza Tech city will occupy 5,000 acres of land and will provide more than 17,000 jobs. Konza will be a walkable city complete with universities, research facilities, smart technologies, business facilities, all these geared towards helping Kenya attain vision 2030. It is expected to grow into a vibrant community of over 200,000 when it is finished.
Geothermal energy has led to the reduction of cost of electricity. In April, 2015 data shows that geothermal generation contributed the largest share with 47.4% followed by hydro generation at 34.8%.
The government is making efforts to ensure that they meet the 2030 targets of producing 5,000 MW of geothermal energy.
Two Rivers Mall
Two Rivers Mall enjoys over 220 stores which are currently being leased in anticipation of the March grand opening.
The 62, 000 square meter lifestyle center will provide fitness centers, office space, carry an assorted mix of fashion stalls, hotels, housing, furniture shops, entertainment joints among other facilities needed to make life comfortable and easier. For those who love and enjoy extravagant shopping, this will be the spot.
The journey to attain vision 2030, will open up Kenya for trade and business from regional as well as global investors. Locally, it will create job opportunities for may Kenyans thus contributing positively to poverty reduction.
Moreover, once completed, there will be a seamless interconnectivity between parts of the countries which seemed to be ‘locked out’ with the rest of the country and East Africa at large.
The LAPSSET Project is set to help open up 70% of the country that has not been invested into since independence 50 years ago and will over triple the investment space in the country.