Kenya is the world leader in the early completion of China-funded megaprojects as part of Beijing’s global infrastructure development strategy, according to the results of a new study by a leading US research university.
The report includes five projects in the country, which was completed before the deadline between 2013 and 2017, ranks at the top of countries that have benefited from China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
College of William researchers & Mary wrote the rapid implementation of Chinese projects in Kenya, in part through the takeover of President Uhuru Kenyatta and rapid action by Chinese contractors to quell opposition.
The results are in a report titled Banking on the Belt and Road, which comprised 13,427 projects valued at US $ 843 billion (Ksh 93.23 trillion) in 165 countries, all over 18 years by Ch ina.
“The… data set shows that some countries encounter fewer obstacles when implementing BRI than other infrastructure projects,” wrote the researchers in the report published at the end of September.
“Kenya is at the top of the list (the countries in the data set with the highest number of BRI infrastructure projects that were completed ahead of schedule.)).”
Kenya is followed by Indonesia, Mongolia and Cameroon, who had separately completed three projects ahead of schedule, while Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Zambia each had two projects.
China has established itself as the financier of choice for many low- and middle-income countries over the past two decades and record amounts of international development finance provided according to the researchers.
However, Beijing’s credit and grant activities remain secrecy, they added, despite Chin a overtakes the United States in overseas development finance program, providing approximately $ 85 billion (Ksh 9.4 trillion) each year.
Researchers have $ 3.5 billion (Ksh 387.1 billion) selected prevailing exchange rates), the 475-kilometer-long Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), more than 85 percent of which was financed by the Chinese Exim Bank because it was built at an “astonishingly fast pace”.
The SGR, which was Beijing’s flagship BRI project in Kenya, was completed 18 months ahead of schedule after it was completed on the 12th.
The researchers wrote, “President Kenyatta acted as the” project owner “and took responsibility for resolving politically controversial issues that could delay or cause the project to fail. He also identified a specific goal to guide the efforts of everyone involved in the implementation of the project: the commissioning of the railroad before running for re-election in August 2017. ”
On the other hand, the state-owned China Die Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) – the SGR project – quickly created access corridors for wildlife migration and built tall bridges for the safe passage of wildlife such as giraffes after conservationists sounded the alarm as the project passed through Tsavo National Park.
CRBC also installed dust-suppressing sprinklers, noise barriers, and wildlife drinking water facilities to “alleviate health concerns during construction and water shortages during dry seasons.”
“To help resolve disputes CRBC hired local people trusted by residents, such as pastors from nearby churches, “the researchers noted.” These ‘Commun ity Liaison Officers’ helped CRBC understand and respond to local grievances. ”
China’s influence on the country’s infrastructure development began in earnest with the construction of the Thika Superhighway between January 2009 and November 2012 at a cost of nearly Ksh 32 billion ($ 291 million) during President Kibaki’s last tenure.
CRBC, a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company, has, in addition to SGR, projects the company says have been building Economic and trade relations as well as the promotion of friendship between Kenya and China contributed.
These include the Southern and Eastern Bypass in Nairobi and an oil terminal worth 398 million Ksh (44.02 billion Ksh) on Kenya’s main Port of Mombasa.
In total, CRBC has carried out at least two port projects, two railways and 23 road projects in Kenya.