The Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) Summit has kicked off in Nairobi this morning.
The conference being hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta is being attended by Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda while President Salva Kiir of South Sudan is represented by a special envoy.
Ethiopia, Tanzania, Burundi and DR. Congo are attending today’s summit as observers.
The Heads of State are expected to discuss the progress of mega infrastructure projects designed to benefit the wider Eastern Africa region.
Specifically, the leaders will discuss the progress of implementation of the outcomes of the 13th Summit, which was held in Kampala in April, 2016.
Top on the agenda of the summit is the progress of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project, which is being constructed in all the four Northern Corridor countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.
Kenya has already completed phase one of the SGR running between Mombasa and Nairobi while phase two of the SGR between Nairobi and Naivasha is 50 per cent complete.
The other Northern Corridor countries are at different stages to actualize the construction of the SGR .
Other issues to be discussed include ICT infrastructure development aimed at promoting regional inter-connectivity, Oil Refinery Development following the discoveries of oil in Kenya and Uganda, where the two now join South Sudan as oil producing countries.
Power Generation, transmission and Inter-connectivity in the wider region, Air Space Management, Human Resource Capacity Building and the establishment of a single Customs territory are other key issues expected to feature at the Summit.
The Northern Corridor Integration Projects is a multilateral development initiative established in 2013 to speed up growth in the region through the improvement of infrastructure for ease of movement of people, goods and services.
In total, there are 16 key Infrastructure and socio-economic concerns that the NCIP focuses on, with the ultimate goal of improving the infrastructure for business, and ensuring inclusive growth that leaves no one behind.