Steve Umidha @steveumidha
Northern Corridor partner states yesterday agreed to reserve 30 per cent of multi-billion-shilling regional development projects under the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) to youth and women.
The announcement, which still awaits a proposal before actualisation, will see such opportunities reserved in the ratio of 10 to 20 for women and youth respectively in a bid to solve high rate of unemployment in the region.
Speaking yesterday at the14th Summit of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) in Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the move would guarantee sustainability for the region’s infrastructure projects while at the same time supporting industralisation.
Projects being implemented by Northern Corridor partner states — Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda — include Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) network; oil refinery development; ICT infrastructure; power generation, transmission and interconnectivity.
“I am informed that experts are exploring possibilities of identifying opportunities within the NCIPs where each project within the Northern Corridor reserves 30 per cent of the jobs for youth and women. We are looking forward to get a proposal on how this can be actualised,” said Uhuru.
The summit, hosted by President Uhuru, was attended by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda while Salva Kiir of South Sudan was represented by a special envoy, Aggrey Sabuni.
The NCIP, which is a multilateral development initiative established in 2013, aims at speeding up development in the region particularly improvement of infrastructure for ease of movement of people, goods and services.
The regional leaders reviewed progress made in the implementation of the various resolutions and projects reached during the 13th Summit held in Kampala, Uganda in 2016.
Kenya is coordinating projects that include crude oil pipeline, power transmission and interconnectivity as well as generation.
Most of the projects, including Standard Gauge Railway and power projects in Kenya are more than 70 per cent achieved, according to a progress report presented at the summit.
“The Summit lauded the completion and commissioning of Mombasa — Nairobi section of the SGR in 2017 which is already transporting increasing number of passengers and cargo,” the leaders noted in a joint communique released at the close of the summit.