South Sudan has pledged to establish a coordinating structure to accelerate infrastructure projects along the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport Corridor.
This announcement was made by the transport minister, Madut Biar Yel, in Juba at the conclusion of a three-day ministerial council meeting attended by ministers and senior officials from Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.
The Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport Corridor is known in short as LAPSSET.
The Ministers adopted the Juba Commitments, an eleven-paragraph resolution, which calls on member states of LAPSSET to integrate corridor projects into their national development plans and develop a 10-year strategic plan for their implementation.
They also committed to operationalizing the Steering Committee and Technical Committee to ensure coordinated implementation in the three countries.
The Ministers recognized the 16 priority LAPSSET projects identified by South Sudan and urged private investors and development partners to channel resources and technical support towards their fast-track implementation.
The LAPSSET Business Council was called upon to mobilize resources and investments for the accelerated growth of key corridor components.
The Vice President of South Sudan and Chairman of the Infrastructure Cluster, Taban Deng Gal, highlighted that the LAPSSET corridor presented an opportunity for regional integration and increased trade in the eastern and Horn of Africa area.
The Cabinet Secretary for Roads, Transport, and Public Works in Kenya, Kipchumba Murkomen, and Ethiopian State Minister for Finance, Eyob Tekalign, both reaffirmed their commitment to expedite the completion of the projects.
The Director of ECA’s Regional Integration and Trade Division, Mr. Stephen Karingi, emphasized the compelling business case for LAPSSET based on the enormous natural resources available in the three countries, which could support economic diversification and value addition.
According to Karingi, the Juba Commitments were seen as a demonstration of the three countries taking action towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In conclusion, the Ministerial Council extended its appreciation to the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) for its support of the LAPSSET process and the facilitation of the ministerial processes.
The meeting was held under the theme “Fast-tracking LAPSSET Implementation for Peace, Growth, Sustainable Development and Regional Integration,” and was attended by about 120 participants.
It was the third edition of a ministerial process, which began in Mombasa and Addis Ababa. All three were hosted by the respective countries and facilitated by ECA.
The fourth Ministerial Council has been scheduled for Lamu, Kenya in 2024.
The Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor is a regional project between Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan targeting to the three countries to each other.
The road network will also link them to their neighbours in Eastern Africa.
The project endeavours to deliver a Just and Prosperous middle income Kenya by the year 2030.
Expected to cost USD 24.5 billion the Project is the first single integrative infrastructure Project the Government has initiated and prepared under Vision 2030 Strategy Framework without external assistance.