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Taban Deng Gai, the vice president for infrastructure cluster (fourth R) during the opening of the LAPSSET meeting.

South Sudan pins hope for improved road linkage on LAPSSET corridor

South Sudan is banking on the Lamu Port- South Sudan- Ethiopia- Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) to improve infrastructure development, the Vice President for Infrastructure Cluster said on Wednesday.

“The LAPSSET a continental platform linking east coast with west coast, the program is a platform for infrastructure development. The LAPSSET corridor in South Sudan is about modern highways,” said Gai during the opening of the high-level ministerial meeting in Juba.

Madut Biar Yel, the Minister for Transport, said the LAPSSET project will connect East Africa with West Africa through South Sudan, adding that the trade distance will be shortened by the transport corridor.

“We are committed to do whatever is required by LAPPSET countries to implement our part; South Sudan is in strategic geographical location particularly in this LAPSSET project. South Sudan is going to be a hub connecting Kenya through Nadapal and connecting Ethiopia through Raad to Boma and Pagak to Malakal,” said Yel.

He disclosed that the LAPPSET project includes development of highways, railways, oil pipeline, fibre optic, and electric grid from East Africa to West Africa.

Kipchumba Murkomen, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Transport in Kenya, said the meeting is reviewing progress of the last 11 years, adding that LAPSSET countries must be connected by road network.

“We are here to review the progress we have made in the last 11 years and to ask ourselves what contribution we can make in our time to make sure our countries are more connected and our region is connected ,” Murkomen said.

Eyob Tekalign, the Ethiopian Minister of Finance, said countries in LAPSSET corridor must be investing in connectivity.

He said that investment in connectivity is important for the people of the region.

“We will do our part to do connectivity, we are deeply committed to regional integration, we are here to discuss ways of connecting our people, one way is by investing in connectivity of these three sisterly countries,” Tekalign said.

Tekalign called for joint efforts to create awareness within government and across borders.

 “We are committed to realize the vision it is for our people, there is no investment than connecting our people,” he said.

Starting at Lamu, Kenya, the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Program, is the region’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure project, bringing the three countries together with key projects that include ports, highways, railways, oil pipeline and airports.

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