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China finances Kenyan port

China finances Kenyan port

Nairobi: China will finance the building of a second port in Kenya, a transport corridor and the upgrading of a railroad linking Kenya's Mombasa port and the Ugandan capital, a statement said Wednesday.
The second port is to be built in the coastal town of Lamu, said the statement from President Mwai Kibaki's office, but did not give figures.
Initially, the port was to be financed by Qatar under a deal to lease swathes of arable land to the Gulf state, but the agreement was shelved.
Kibaki, who met with China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi who visited the east African country, "welcomed the commitment that the government of the People's Republic of China has shown in the development of a second port at Lamu".
China also granted Kenya seven million dollars for "various projects in the country", the statement said.
"For Africa to further take off, it is very important to build up the infrastructure so that African countries can conduct intra-regional trade on a massive scale," Yang told reporters.
China has extensive oil interests in south Sudan, according to the Financial Times, and the new Kenyan port could be a new export route for the crude. The south of Sudan is expected to vote to secede from the Arab-led north next year in a referendum that is already stoking fears of renewed conflict between the two sides.
South Sudan currently relies on pipelines that transport its oil to refineries and a port in the north, but a new export route through Kenya would break that dependence.  [07/01/10]


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