The $125.18 million, Nairobi Outer Ring Road Improvement Project was officially launched last week.

The project which is jointly financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Kenyan government, involves the construction of a 13-kilometre-long dual highway to traverse the northern and eastern districts of Nairobi city as well as the construction of missing links covering about 16 km.

The African Development Fund (ADF) is financing approximately to $112.43 million while the Kenya Government will contribute $12.75 million towards the project.

Once completed, the entire project will drastically decongest the environs of the two districts, including arterial roads connecting Nairobi-Thika Highway, Eastern Bypass, Northern Bypass, Mombasa Road, and the Jomo-Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Consequently, the project will contribute to creating conducive business environment and improving travel conditions for commuters.

Upon completion, the project will result in the transformation of the outer ring into a four-lane highway, with interchanges and overpasses and construction of link roads.

The project will also include the designation of foot paths, cycle lanes as well as a nine-metre Bus Rapid corridor to be constructed at a later stage.

The Director for the African Development Bank’s East Africa Regional Resource Centre (EARC), Gabriel Negatu, said that that the project will transform livelihoods through the creation of sustainable opportunities in terms of jobs and businesses.

He also underscored the fact that the project is designed to respond to Kenya’s shortage of relevant skills in artisans and technicians mainly due to a mismatch in training and the labour market needs: “At least 500 youths from poor and vulnerable backgrounds will be trained mainly in roads and highway related middle-level programs. The training areas will include cobblestone technology; building and construction; and plant operations,” he added.

In concluding the launching ceremony, President Kenyatta thanked the AfDB Group for its support to development of Kenya in general, and in particular, for financing this project, which is a critical part of Government’s commitment to Kenya’s Vision 2030.