Kenya to build road tolls through PPP

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“The impact of the proposed project by government, through public private partnership approach, will have a very high economic impact and a positive impact to the consumers. The consumers will be able to get the infrastructure that they would not have had if this was left with the government,” Kenya National Treasury director of public private partnerships Stanley Kamau told CNBC Africa.

“One of the challenges the Kenya government has, like many other developing countries, is we have a serious funding gap for infrastructure, which ranges between two to three billion dollars every year. This cannot be realised unless we have private sector trying to meet this gap.”

Kamau added that consumers will be able to use some of the modern facilities and improve their livelihoods through provision of this infrastructure.

In South Africa, where a similar road tolls model has been implemented, has received strong opposition from citizens due to the high costs that will be incurred on their part.

“If you look at South Africa, that’s a more or less a developed country. They have the infrastructure that they need. In this country, the deficit for infrastructure is very high. People are spending about three to four hours in traffic jams,” Kamau explained.

“If people know that they can pay a little bit of money and that time is reduced to about 30 minutes or 15 minutes, I think people would be very positive.”

He also explained that communication between government and its people would also be crucial to the development stages of the road tolls.

Kenya’s government has also implemented the Viability Government Fund, which is intended to make the rates charged for tolls more affordable.

This would be by reducing the cost of the capital investment by private parties involved in the construction of the tolls.

“In this country, we would want to learn from those lessons that have been learnt from other countries and look at things in a more different way. [We want to] do things in a more strategic way and also trying to make sure that the tolls that are put in place are affordable,” said Kamau.