4 biggest infrastructure projects in Kenya today

Kenya, the commercial hub and gateway to East Africa, has in the recent decades rolled out key infrastructure projects aimed at boosting regional trade and integration. Major projects have been completed while other even bigger ones are yet to be launched, in what would transform various sectors over the coming years. Here’s a list of some of Kenya’s biggest and most ambitious projects launched or currently underway:

The Lappset project


The Ksh2.5trillion LAPSSET Corridor Program is Eastern Africa’s largest infrastructure project bringing together Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. The ambitious project is part of Kenya Vision 2030, which is the national long-term development policy that aims to transform Kenya into a newly industrializing, middle-income country, providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by the year 2030 in a clean secure environment. The project seeks to unlock the potential of the untapped trade through seamless connectivity, driven by a multi-faceted transport and logistics corridor. The project also seeks to open almost two-thirds of the country’s land mass through accessibility. The LAPSSET Corridor Program further seeks to promote regional integration through trans-border trade and investments. The project is made up of three infrastructure components namely: the 32-Berth Lamu Port; Highways and Railway line connecting Lamu Port through Isiolo, to Ethiopia and South Sudan respectively; Crude oil and product oil pipeline; International airports (in focal points along the corridor); Resorts and industrial cities; Multipurpose High-Grand falls dam; Fibre Optic Cable Networks among other supporting infrastructure. In terms of regional perspective, the project connects Kenya with Ethiopia and South Sudan and forms part of the Equatorial Land Bridge that traverses from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean connecting Lamu to Douala in Cameroon. 

Standard Gauge Railway

A train launched to operate on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and financed by Chinese government arrives at the Nairobi Terminus on the outskirts of Kenya’s capital Nairobi May 31, 2017. Photo: Thomas Mukoya

Africa has a massive need for infrastructure to boost its economic growth, implement the Africa Continental Free trade Area and deliver on the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Agenda 2063 calls for the creation of an African Integrated High Speed Railway Network, and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa has outlined plans for modernizing 17,200 km of existing railways and constructing 12,000 km of new railways. Kenya embarked on building an ambitious railway project- the standard gauge railway in 2013, which would connect the port city of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi, replacing the colonial metre gauge railway.  Construction of the 480-kilometre Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway project (first phase) began in 2013, and the initial segment was completed in 2017 at a cost of approximately USD3.8billion. An additional USD1.5billion extension to Naivasha was completed in 2019. Government now plans to extend the project to the lakeside city of Kisumu, and ultimately to the neighbouring capitals Kampala, Kigali and Juba. The SGR has since recorded various successes. The trains not only run faster than the former railway or road traffic, but the passenger services are also quite popular and convenient. The amount of freight carried has also risen significantly since commercial operations began, thereby decongesting port operations, speed freight transportation and enhancing cargo security. President Kenyatta-led administration has billed the project as a ‘vital component for the realization of the Kenya Vision 2030’ development agenda.    

Nairobi Expressway

Section of Nairobi Expressway under construction

The ongoing Ksh59 billion Nairobi Expressway 27-kilometre Nairobi expressway is an ambitious highway project that is expected to dramatically change Nairobi city’s skyline while easing traffic congestion that has been a menace in the Mombasa bound highway. The road will connect the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in the east of Nairobi to the Nairobi-Nakuru highway in the west. The road is financed and constructed by the China Roads and Bridge Corporation, and will be operated by the Chinese firm under a public-private-partnership. The four-and six lane dual carriageway, with 10 interchanges along the routes, is expected to be a game changer in the city’s transport system.  

Konza Technology City

An artistic impression of Konza Techno City

Sitting on some 5,000 acres of land in Machakos County, one of the neighboring counties of Kenya’s capital Nairobi, Konza technopolis (previously called Konza Technology City), is a key flagship projects of Kenya’s Vision 2030 economic development portfolio. Upon completion, Konza is expected to be a world class city, powered by a thriving information, communication and technology (ICT) sector, superior reliable infrastructure and business friendly governance system.

“Konza was planned as a mixed-use, high density walkable city that accommodates a diversity of programs and districts. By avoiding superblocks and auto-orientated roadways, Konza will be a livable, sustainable urban environment that encourages high-value development and discourages sprawl. Planning will take cues from successful global urban centers, yet be specific to the needs of Kenya and the region. The master plan sets the framework for a city that functions both globally and locally, today and in the future,” the organization reports in a statement.


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