U.S. Gov’t says Nairobi-Mombasa expressway will not up Kenya’s debt

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The United States has rubbished reports claiming that the Nairobi-Mombasa expressway project will saddle Kenya with unsustainable debt.

A statement released on Friday said the American Government remains fully committed to fulfilling President Donald Trump’s shared pledge with Kenya to make the road a reality.

“This project by a world-class U.S. company will provide the best engineered solutions for Kenya’s infrastructure needs at a lower price than competitors and for far better value.

“Furthermore, doing business with a U.S. company helps combat corruption through the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” the U.S. envoy Kyle McCarter said.

A section of the media had questioned whether Kenya could afford the Ksh. 300billion project seeing as the country’s total public debt hit Ksh5.7 trillion by June this year.

Current public debt as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at 63 per cent and is expected to hit the 70% mark in the near future.

On Friday, the American Government however maintained that the highway is an investment and will not burden Kenya with additional debt.

The announcement comes a day after the Kenyan Government revised the design of the Nairobi Expressway project that earlier planned to hive off Uhuru Park.

There was public outrage with Kenyans expressing their disapproval on social media platforms.

The 27-kilometre dual carriageway is set to run from Mlolongo all the way to James Gichuru Junction in Westlands.

It was set to take up land from Uhuru Park for construction of exit and entry ramps, a plan that triggered the uproar.

“We all recognise that Uhuru Park is an important public park and is one of the remaining parcels of green areas within Nairobi CBD that needs to be preserved for posterity, and further to ensure the environment is maintained in pristine condition,” Transport CS James Macharia later said.

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