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Americans To Construct Sh471B Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway

“Usahihi will pay for itself, not burdening the Government of Kenya. It is structured as a Public Private Partnership with revenue coming from road users. Usahihi will organize finance, construction, tolling, operation, and maintenance of the expressway under a 30-year concession with construction lasting 3-4 years,”

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Kenya Highways Authority (KeNHA) and U.S. infrastructure investment manager Everstrong Capital have signed a $3.6 billion (about Sh471 billion) Project Development Agreement (PDA) to build a 440 km (273 miles) highway between the capital and port city Mombasa.

President William Ruto, unveiled the Usahihi Nairobi to Mombasa Expressway, during his visit with the President of the United States, Joe Biden, while visiting the White House on Thursday the 23rd of May 2024.

According to the company, expressway is the largest toll road project in Africa and envisions a transformative symbol of Kenya’s dedication to transparent and innovative infrastructure development.

A bigger highway between Mombasa and Nairobi has been on the wish list of successive governments aiming to ease congestion on the busy road to and from the port.

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“The project anticipates attracting investments totalling $3.6 billion, sourced from international investors, development agencies, pension funds and an exceptionally large number of Kenyan private investors,” Everstrong said in its statement.

Financing

Funding of the project has been an issue, the company in a statement stated that Kenyans won’t be burdened with the initial funding as the model will allow it to self manage.

“Usahihi will pay for itself, not burdening the Government of Kenya. It is structured as a Public Private Partnership with revenue coming from road users. Usahihi will organize finance, construction, tolling, operation, and maintenance of the expressway under a 30-year concession with construction lasting 3-4 years,” the company stated.

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“The construction of the Usahihi expressway poses no financial risks to the Kenyan government, as it is structured to operate independently from the Government of Kenya’s balance sheet and is projected to be financially self-sustaining. The project anticipates attracting investments totaling USD 3.6 billion, sourced from international investors, development agencies, pension funds, and an exceptionally large number of Kenyan private investors.” It added.

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Design

The expressway is engineered to accommodate the safe passage of trucks, buses, and automobiles, featuring rest stops, wildlife observation points, electric vehicle charging infrastructure powered by renewable energy sources, and strategically located overpasses designed by environmental experts based on animal migration patterns to facilitate safe wildlife migration.

It’s expected to bring the current 10.5-hour journey between Nairobi and Mombasa, known as one of Africa’s most dangerous routes for both people and wildlife, down to a safe journey of approximately 4.5 hours.

Everstrong Capital’s proficient team consists of world-class Engineering, Procurement, and Construction firms.

Amb. Kyle McCarter, Everstrong Capital Partner & Usahihi Chairman, says, “The Usahihi Expressway isn’t just a project; it’s a testament to the transformational power of doing things right. It symbolizes passion, commitment, and transparency, demonstrating how to deliver immense value, not only to Kenyan citizens but to the entire East Africa region. It’s about changing lives and shaping the future of Kenya.”

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“The U.S. Embassy welcomes the signing of a project development agreement, which marks a significant step forward in the construction of a new Nairobi-Mombasa highway,” said Meg Whitman, United States Ambassador to Kenya. “This stretch of road is vital for Kenya’s continued economic growth and a new
highway will be safer for all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who depend on this important corridor for work, pleasure, and living.”

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William Ruto, President of Kenya stated, “More than just a road, the Usahihi Expressway sets a standard for transparent, sustainable, and community-centered development, fostering economic growth and environmental protection, serving as a global inspiration for ethical development. It embodies a commitment to transparency, hard work, and the empowerment of Kenyan citizens by engaging them as users, owners, and investors, creating a cycle of localized benefits and ensuring that communities directly reap the rewards of their investment and participation.”

Everstrong Capital, is a US-owned infrastructure investment manager with a presence in both the US and Kenya with a focus on advancing sustainable infrastructure development across Africa.

It initiated the Everstrong Kenya Infrastructure Fund (EKIF), which is dedicated to financing projects in energy, transportation, communication, and social infrastructure within East Africa and has played a pivotal role in significant infrastructure projects, including its investment in Gulf Power’s Athi River Power project and its founding sponsorship of Milele Energy, an independent power producer holding a 25% stake in the Lake Turkana Wind Project. Everstrong Capital is also assisting SunCode Energy as it enters the African Solar Energy market.

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