How Kenya is set to benefit from Sh15 trillion Chinese project
More than 60 countries, with a combined GDP of $21 trillion, have expressed interest in participating in the OBOR action plan.
On Sunday, Chinese president Xi Jinping opened a two-day summit in Beijing to consolidate support for its massive global development project called One Belt One Road, (OBOR) or the New Silk Road project.
Over 28 world leaders and 70 representatives from around the world including Russian President Vladmir Putin, Phillipine's Rodrigo Duterte, Turkey's Reccep Tayyip Erdogan, Indonesia's Joko Widodo and Ethiopian Prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn attended the event where they pledged support for the new Silk Road project.
"What we hope to create is a big family of harmonious co-existence," Xi told the participants, adding that all countries were welcome to take part in the project.
Among the attendees was Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta who later spoke during a round table meeting about how Kenya was prepared to be part of the project.
Silk Road is an ancient network of silk land and ocean trade routes of centuries past used by the Chinese to trade and connect with the world.
In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping revived the route after he unveiled an ambitious economic and foreign policy - the "Silk Road Economic Belt" and "21st Century Maritime Silk Road".
China has set aside a massive budget of Sh15 trillion for the OBOR project which hopes to move high quality but cheap goods like IPADS and Car parts made in China, non-stop across the Central Asia, Europe and Africa.
China has also set aside Sh100 billion for a South-South Cooperation fund and another Sh100 billion for cooperation projects in countries on the new silk road.
To make this possible, China plans to build multiple high speed rail networks, massive ports across Asia and Africa and a series of free trade zones into Europe.
This will result in millions of jobs created, economies across the route prosper and millions of people lifted out of poverty.
Mombasa port and Kenya lies strategically across the route and is set to reap a lot of benefits from its close ties with China.
The Standard Gauge Railway, which is set to be operational in June, was funded by China while the funding for the second source has already been secured from the Asian nation.
A Chinese firm, Goudagong together with a Kenyan company are also set to construct a 1767 acre industrial park near Eldoret town worth Sh200 billion.
Lappset project is another key investment the Chinese have expressed interest in taking part in.
In total once completed, OBOR which is a signature policy of President Xi Jinping will connect 4.4 billion people and lift the global trade by 2.5 trillion dollars in a decade.
The only challenge is lack of trust between China and some countries involved but who said that cannot be sorted out?
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