Sunday, November 2, 2008

Kenya says infrastructure plan to cost $4,5bn

Kenya needs to spend 360-billion shillings over the next five years to improve and expand its dilapidated infrastructure, President Mwai Kibaki said on Monday.

The government - much criticised for bad roads and delays at its port - has based its long-term economic growth strategy on provision of a working infrastructure.

"This means that we need about 72-billion shillings every financial year for infrastructure development," he told the country's first conference on infrastructure bonds.

During the 2008-2012 period, Kibaki said there would be building or upgrading work on 64 500 km of roads at a cost of 186-billion shillings.

The money will also be spent on modernising and expanding the rail network, development of the Mombasa port and construction of a second one at Lamu, he said.

The east African nation hopes to issue several bonds this financial year including its first sovereign bond for $500 million to finance some of those plans.

Kibaki said the government would create new laws to govern public-private partnerships that would allow companies to invest in public infrastructure projects.

"We are encouraging the private sector to seize the opportunity and play a more active role in the provision of infrastructural services," he said.