From Left: Presidents Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) and Paul Kagame (Rwanda). Image: Courtesy

President Uhuru Kenyatta is today set to host Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Rwandan Counterpart Paul Kagame and a Special Envoy of President Salva Kiir of South Sudan for the 14th Summit of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects in Nairobi.

The project is a multilateral development initiative established in 2013 to speed up development in the region (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan), particularly the improvement of infrastructure to ease the movement of people, goods and services in the region.

“During the Nairobi meeting, the leaders are expected to review progress made in the implementation of resolutions reached at during the last Summit that was held in Kampala, Uganda in 2016,” State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said in a statement to newsrooms.

A commercial contract for the Naivasha-Kisumu-Malaba sections and a modern port at Kisumu has already been signed with the China Communication Construction Company (CCCC).

On its part, Uganda signed a commercial contract with China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) in March 2015 and recently completed the project appraisal exercise which was held parallel to the ongoing negotiations of financing which are expected to be finalized by September this year.

In Rwanda, preliminary engineering design of the new SGR line from Kampala to Kigali was completed in January 2018 while in South Sudan, preparation for a bankable feasibility study for the Nimule-Juba SGR line is on-going and is expected to be complete by December this year. Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract for the line has been signed and the process for obtaining a commercial loan from China EXIM Bank is in its early stages.

Apart from the SGR, the Heads of State and the Special Envoy will be briefed on the progress being made in ICT and will be keen on the status of the One Network Area (ONA) for voice which is fully operational in all the partner states, while ONA for data is operational in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

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 Also expected to feature in the deliberations will be the progress of the oil refinery. Uganda signed a Project Framework Agreement (PFA) in April 2018 with the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium to design, develop, finance and operate a refinery in Hoima. It is expected that a final investment decision (FID) will be made by May 2019. The Land for the refinery has already been acquired. Kenya has been requested to indicate the entity that will hold its 2.5 percent shareholding in the refinery.

The Heads of State and the Special Envoy will be briefed on the progress being made in ICT and will be keen on the status of the One Network Area (ONA) for voice which is fully operational in all the partner states, while ONA for data is operational in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

“The leaders will also review progress made in immigration, tourism, trade, labour and services; single customs territory; mutual defense cooperation; mutual peace and security cooperation; and airspace management,” the statement said.

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