Integration Projects: Regional Leaders Prioritise Railway, Power Grids

The 12th Heads-of-state Summit of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) came to an end Thursday evening in Kigali, visit web Rwanda with regional leaders emphasising the need to fast-track key infrastructural projects aimed at stimulating economic growth and development.

The heads of State agreed and emphasised the need for regular monthly meetings at Ministerial level as well as for the National Coordinators to work more closely together to coordinate institutions in their respective countries and speed up implementation of NCIP projects.

The Summit welcomed the growing collaboration between governments and private sector for the successful implementation of the Northern Corridor integration projects, symptoms noting that it will go along way attracting financing and enhancing capacity in the sectors earmarked for fast-tracking.

The Summit underscored the need for key players in the private sector to form joint ventures and consortia necessary to enhance their capabilities and expertise that allow the infusion of local finance and content in projects being implemented.

The Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Tedros Adhanom announced Ethiopia’s application to join the Northern Corridor Integration Projects, stating that regional integration would help to not only integrate but also unite the African continent.

This was welcomed by Presidents Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame, Uhuru Kenyatta and representatives from Burundi, DRC, Djibouti and Tanzania, saying it was an indication of the growing importance of integration in regional development.

Ethiopia is keen to supply power to the region which calls for harmonisation of infrastructure such as power grids.

The host, Kagame, said regional officials would now be meeting 12 times every year to accelerate the implementation of integration projects.

He further me pointed to progress made so far, but encouraged all stakeholders to work harder to get rid of all backlogs in order to achieve the results desired by the people of the region.

Key recommendations

The leaders considered the report of the 12th ministerial meeting and endorsed its recommendations.

On the standard gauge railway (SGR) development, the summit appreciated progress in the construction works of the Mombasa-Nairobi section which has reached 60 percent completion.

It also noted the signing of the funding agreement for the Nairobi-Naivasha section with EXIM Bank of China.

During a meeting on strengthening the cooperation of China and Africa, President Museveni urged the Chinese government to take the funding of the East African standard gauge railway as a matter of priority.

On the remaining sections of the SGR, the Summit was appraised that Kenya had received the draft commercial contracts for the Naivasha-Malaba section and the same were under review.

The heads of state directed the Ministers to finalise preparations of bankable project proposals for the remaining sections on the Eastern, Western and Southern routes and Mirama-Kigali section.

Regarding the ICT infrastructure development, the Summit noted the considerable progress made and signing of an MoU between NCIP and Northern Corridor Technology Alliance (NCTA) for collaboration of governments and the private sector in the field of ICT.

The leaders witnessed the launch of POSITIVO-BGH computer assembled in Kigali and welcomed the production of affordable devices to increase penetration of ICT.

The leaders also spoke about the oil refinery development, appreciating the progress on incorporating the Refinery Holdings Company through which partner states shareholding in the project will be channelled and urge the remaining partner states to confirm their level of shareholding participation in the project.


As far as power generation, transmission and interconnectivity is concerned, regional leaders took note of the completion of the Mirama-Shango Transmission line and installation of voltage control equipment in Western Kenya.

Leaders were informed of the signing of an MoU between NELSAP, Uganda and South Sudan for the 400Kv Olwiyo-Juba transmission line.

The summit directed the ministers to ensure that steady progress is maintained and power trading commences by April 2016.

The leaders’ summit further instructed ministers to continue exploring alternative financing options including Public Private Partnerships to raise funds for the development of the refined petroleum products pipeline development and raise funds for the development of the project and that the cluster be merged with the private sector cluster.

On air space management, the summit appreciated the signing of bilateral air service agreements between Rwanda and South Sudan; Rwanda and Uganda; and Uganda and South Sudan and the conclusion of MoUs on search and rescue and on incident and accident investigation.

Leaders reiterated the need to conclude the Multilateral Air Services Agreement studies and to implement by April 2016.

The heads-of-state concurred on securing land for the infrastructure projects and directed respective ministers to hasten process of land acquisition.


In regard to the Single Customs Territory (SCT), the Summit noted the integration of the Regional Customs Transit Guarantees System and the improvement in its functionality and increased efficiency on the time it takes to move cargo from the Port of Mombasa to the inland destinations along the northern corridor.

Ministers of Finance and Revenue Authorities were instructed to expeditiously resolve the challenges represented by diversion of transit cargo and the need to harmonise the respective warehousing regimes.

Leaders ordered the procurement process of the Electronic cargo tracking system and address the issue of cash deposits and overstayed cargo in Mombasa.

The leaders spoke on immigration, welcoming the signing of the bilateral agreement on ONE Stop Border Post between Kenya and Uganda and directed the ministers to operationalise the completed one Stop Border posts at Malaba, Busia and Mirama Hills/Kagitumba.

The summit also directed the implementation of the agreement on total liberalisation of free movement of labour, starting with finalisation of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) among professional bodies such as lawyers, ICT and Engineers.

On defence, Peace and Security Cooperation, heads of states welcomed the depositing of the Instruments of Ratification and directed the Ministers to finalise the accession procedures to Mutual Defence and Security Pacts for approval by heads of state and deposit of the Instruments at the United Nations and the African Union.

The learners learnt that partner states have signed cooperation agreements on transfer of prisoners and offenders and directed the implementation of this agreement.

Leaders directed ministers in charge of Internal Affairs to harmonise road safety strategies to reduce road accidents in the region.

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