Find a win-win solution on Mau Summit Road


An artistic impression of Nairobi to Mau summit toll road. 

Photo credit: File photo | Pool

The Kenya Kwanza administration put on hold the construction of the Mau Summit Highway because it was expensive.

As a result, the government is now pushing for a review of the Sh179.9 billion ($1.3 billion) project, with the aim of bringing its cost down.

There has been a tendency for the cost of infrastructural projects, almost all of which are debt-funded, to be inflated to include kickbacks.

The government has asked both the financiers and contractors to go back to the negotiating table.

While this is encouraging, the matter is delicate and could send wrong signals to financiers if not handled well.

But delaying the project for long is also not good. Construction of the Mau Summit Road was to start in 2021.

All this time, both the French contractors and financiers, might have set aside resources for the project.

Lenders such as African Development Bank have set aside money for the project and delays may discourage more financiers from coming on board.

A win-win solution that benefits the contractors and financiers on the one hand and taxpayers on the other is urgently needed.

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