•The framework will also see the IFC scale up its investments in the country as part of the wider World Bank Group support for fiscal and debt sustainability.
•Kenyans will be expected to pay road tolls over an estimated period of 30 years in a bid to help the project’s operator and financiers recover their investment.
Construction of the Sh160 billion toll highway from Nairobi to Mau Summit is expected to begin in the 2023-2024 financial year after the World Bank committed to inject funds towards the project.
The bank through its private sector financing arm, The International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced a Sh39 billion ($320 million) commitment in financing for the proposed Highway.
IFC is set to approve the disbursement of the funds within the 2023/24 financing year, unlocking more financing for the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiated project.
PPP is a model for government to procure and implement public infrastructure using private sector resources.
Kenya’s high debt levels and the shrinking headroom for borrowing has made government to resort to PPPs.
The Nairobi to Mau Summit is set to upgrade the old Nairobi-Nakuru highway that serves the major trade route between Nairobi and Western Kenya.
The project, which is also known as the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit Highway, is set to be among the first road projects in Kenya developed under the PPP framework.
The World Bank Group has listed the project as one of the key deliverables, underpinning its engagement with country under the Country Partnership Framework for Kenya (CPF).
“Given Kenya’s narrowing fiscal space, the country should accelerate its Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme and take steps to improve governance, increase transparency, minimise opportunities for corruption and balance risk between public and private sector players,” World Bank said in its new report the Country Partnership Framework (CPF).
The framework will also see the IFC scale up its investments in the country as part of the wider World Bank Group support for fiscal and debt sustainability.
The project involves the dualling of a portion of the A8 Highway between Rironi and Mau Summit into a four-lane dual carriage including operation and maintenance.
The project will also cover the strengthening of A8-South Highway between Rironi and Naivasha.
Rift Valley Highway Limited (RVHL), a consortium led by Vinci Highways and Meridian, are the project’s operator.
The firm has already signed a design, build, finance, operate, maintain and transfer contract with the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).
The project will upgrade the old Nairobi-Nakuru highway that serves the major trade route between Nairobi and Western Kenya improving transport connections for people and goods between eastern and Western parts of Kenya and neighbouring countries.
Kenyans will be expected to pay road tolls over an estimated period of 30 years in a bid to help the project’s operator and financiers recover their investment.
Earlier this year, the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved the financing of Sh18.4 billion ($150 million) to Kenya to support the financing of the toll Highway.