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SYLVESTER KSUKU - LAPSSET

Tell us about the infrastructure projects you have successfully completed in East Africa?


East Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the African continent. The infrastructure sector in East Africa has undergone a transformation in the last decade with several infrastructural projects that are under way while others are complete. Some of the complete project include:

 

  • The expansion of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

  • Construction of the 500km Isiolo-Moyale road

  • Rehabilitation of the Northern Corridor from Mombasa to Kigali via Kampala

  • Construction and operation of 280 MW Olkaria geothermal power plant, one of the largest geothermal power plants in the world.

  • Construction and development of the Thika Superhighway

  • Construction and development of the Light Rail Transit in Ethiopia
     

The projects unveil numerous and unique benefits that are spurring social, economic and environmental development in the East African region. Building Africa’s Transformative and Game Changer Infrastructure to Deliver a Just and Prosperous Kenya.

 


What do you believe to be the greatest challenge facing the industry regarding road development?

 

Road asset development is fundamental in enhancing the functionality of the transport sector to support trade and logistics in Kenya and East Africa. The challenges in the sector vary from structural to policy and even technological issues. Specifically, the common hitches in road development are:

 

 

  • Inadequate capacity in the construction industry, particularly in design and supervision in construction and maintenance of the road assets

  • Inadequate financial capacity for the construction and maintenance of the road assets

  • Huge backlog for new road asset development and maintenance

  • Lack of private sector participation in investing in road asset development and management

  • Missing links in inter-state connectivity

 

 

Where do you see the greatest opportunity in the industry right now, and how are you positioned to capture it as a business?


East Africa has awakened to the need for regional integration as a means of promoting trade and livelihood. The East African countries have placed more importance on the development of infrastructural projects to improve interregional connectivity through effective and seamless transport systems. Some of the greatest opportunities in the industry include:

 

 

  • Large backlog in road asset development and maintenance, which provide opportunities for private sector investment

  • Public Private Partnership (PPP) providing opportunities for the private sector to participate

  • Regional integration through opening interregional highways

  • Building Africa’s Transformative and Game Changer Infrastructure to Deliver a Just and Prosperous Kenya

  • Reforms in road sector have created institutions for road asset management, ownership and financing.
     

 

If you could change one thing in the industry going forward, what would it be?


Road asset development is fundamental in enhancing the functionality of the transport sector to support trade and logistics in Kenya and East Africa. In this regard, the following changes can enhance the performance of the industry:

 

 

  • Strengthen institutions for road asset development and maintenance

  • Strengthen private sector participation in financing development and maintenance of road assets

  • Establish reliable frameworks for financing road asset development and maintenance

  • Establish and institutionalise decision-making mechanisms for investment in road asset development and maintenance
     

 

Specifically on bitumen – how do you source supplies to ensure the quality of supply?

 

Kenya imports bitumen and this is subjected to quality control procedures by the Kenya bureau of standards and the department of Materials Testing and Research in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. The two departments are mandated with the inspection of the construction materials for quality assurance.


 

Are there any challenges you face with bitumen you would like to overcome?

 

Road construction has faced a challenge of lack of adequate good quality bitumen. The quality of bitumen that is commonly used is inconsistent. Getting the right Bitumen is critical in building Africa’s Transformative and Game Changer Infrastructure to Deliver a just and prosperous Kenya enhancing the quality of the roads delivered. Cohesion among the institutions mandated with material testing in the region will help to overcome this challenges by ensuring that the standard of bitumen used, meets the specified requirements.

 


How did you come into the road bitumen/transport/infrastructure Industry?

 

In 2002 – 2008, I worked for the Government of Kenya as a Consultant/ Technical Advisor with the assistance of the World Bank to steer the Kenya Roads Sector Institutional and Legal Reform. Between April 2003 and March 2004, I was appointed by the Ministry of Transport, Government of Kenya as Transport Sector Policy Expert Lead Member for the National Transport Policy Committee that formulated the Integrated National Transport Policy for Kenya, covering all modes of transport (Road, Air, Maritime, Railways and Pipeline). Thereafter I was appointed as the Director General/ CEO of the LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority, which is mandated to coordinate the delivery of the LAPSSET Transport Corridor, which includes Interregional roads among other projects.

 


What is your proudest achievement to date in the industry?

 

My proudest achievement is taking a strategic leadership role in spearheading the reform process that included undertaking institutional diagnostic studies, formulation of an appropriate institutional framework for road infrastructure Planning, Design, Construction, Maintenance, Financing and Regulation. The reform process resulted in the creation of LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority, Standard Gauge Railway, Kenya National Highways Authority KeNHA, Kenya Urban Roads Authority KURA and Kenya Rural Roads Authority KeRRA.

 

Website: www.lapsset.go.ke

 

Sylvester Ksuku

Chief Executive Officer - LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority

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