Addis Ababa, 9 February 2024 (ECA) - The first Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia (LAPSSET) Corridor Development Program joint Technical Committee meeting was held from 24-25 January 2024 in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting was organized jointly by the footprint countries, in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the NEPAD/APRM Kenya Secretariat.
The LAPSSET Corridor Development Program is a regional infrastructure project that aims to connect Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan through a network of ports, highways, railways, pipelines, airports, and resort cities.
During the opening session, Eng. Lado Tongun Tombe, the South Sudanese Director General of Road Transport and Safe, reported that priority projects had been identified in the framework of LAPSSET Program and that the Government of South Sudan will endeavor to construct the road section from the border of Kenya to Juba and beyond.
Representing the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mr. Abdulber Shemsu, Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopian Maritime Authority, highlighted that “The LAPSSET initiative presents evidence of Ethiopia’s commitment to utilizing multiple transportation avenues to foster connectivity and promote economic development in the region.”
Mr. Stephen Karingi, Director of the Regional Integration and Trade Division of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), stated that the Programme fits well among the ambitions of the UN sustainable development goals and Agenda 2063, “the Africa We Want” as it seeks to enhance trade, investment, regional cooperation and peace among the three countries and beyond. He also recalled the crucial role of the Committee as a platform for accelerating the progress of this Corridor Development Programme, stating that “It is a forum that must be in the forefront of enhancing collaboration and partnership among the three countries and development partners supporting the programme.” Mr. Karingi reiterated ECA’s commitment to support the LAPSSET initiative.
Key highlights from the meeting include consensus on Terms of Reference for the governance structures which will be recommended to the Ministerial Council and initiating work towards establishing a regional coordination mechanism. The Steering Committee, on its part, will oversee the overall strategy implementation and progress of the LAPSSET Corridor Program.
It is anticipated that the Regional Coordination Mechanism and Steering Committee will play pivotal roles in ensuring the seamless implementation of projects, promoting cross-border cooperation, and unlocking the transformative impact of the corridor on the participating nations.
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