Kenya will build own pipeline, Uhuru tells EAC summit


East African Community presidents from left, Salva Kiir of South Sudan, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya in this file picture.

Kenya will go it alone in the construction of a crude oil pipeline that will terminate at the Lamu Port, it was officially announced today.

The decision, reached by President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Yoweri Museveni, was announced at the end of the 13th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit held in Kampala.

Kenya will embark on the construction of the Lamu-Lokichar pipeline while Uganda will build the other pipeline through its southern borders.

The decision comes after Kenya abandoned negotiations with Uganda for a single pipeline project, because the talks dragged on for long and had paralysed preparations for the construction of Kenya’s oil pipeline.

Kenya and Uganda have however agreed to continue cooperating on petroleum issues since both countries are new in the industry.

In a communique read at the end of the Summit, the leaders also pointed out that the integration projects have made significant strides with the Kenya section of the Standard Gauge Railway being the best example.

READ: Battle of wits hots up as Kenya, Uganda resume oil pipeline talks

Construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR section has now reached 75 percent and is expected to be completed by 2017.

A commercial contract and financing agreement for the Nairobi-Naivasha SGR section has been signed and construction expected to begin by September.

Ready by June 2016

Kenya has also signed a commercial agreement with China Communication Construction Company for the Naivasha-Kisumu-Malaba sections and construction of a modern port at Kisumu and the Kenya Government is currently sourcing funding.

On the Uganda part of the SGR, preparations are at advanced stages and the Ugandan Government has signed a commercial contract with China Habour Engineering Company for the Malaba-Kampala section.

Feasibility studies for the Rwanda and South Sudan sections of the SGR is expected to be ready by June 2016 and December 2016 respectively.

On ICT, the partner states are working to develop a framework for regional data roaming with a proposed maximum retail tariff of  Ksh11.

The partner states have already adopted a Regional Broadband Strategy and are fast tracking the development of legal and regulatory framework to curb vandalism of fibre optic infrastructure.

The NCIP member countries are also in consultations with their respective Central Banks with a view to ensuring interoperability between mobile money operators.

Ministers of Trade from the partner states have been directed to fast track development and adoption of legal and regulatory frameworks with Capital Markets Authorities in each of the countries tasked to facilitate regional interconnection in line with the goal of having inter-linked regional trading platforms.

The partner states defence ministers have been directed to expedite the adoption of the Draft Accession Treaty to the Defence Pact and to consider the final Mechanism for Comprehensive Conflict and Dispute Resolution.

The leaders also discussed a cooperation agreement on the transfer of prisoners and offenders and report progress to the 14th Summit. Kenya will take the lead in drafting guidelines for the implementation of the cooperation agreement and host a meeting at the end of May.