The World Bank is studying plans by South Sudan to build a highway to link to the Kenyan port of Mombasa, according to a World Bank senior transport engineer who works in the country.
The bank is considering funding the project and is working with the governments of South Sudan and Kenya to find co-financers, Tesfamichael Nahusenay said Oct. 24 in an e-mailed response to questions.
The highway will help the country diversify its economy away from oil, which provides 98 percent of government revenue, by attracting “export-oriented investment,” he said. South Sudan’s deputy minister for roads and bridges, Simon Mijok, said in a phone interview that the road will also reduce the costs of imports to the landlocked nation. Most goods currently imported from Mombasa are hauled by truck through Uganda.
“The corridor will open up access to massive fertile land in Eastern Equatoria and southern Jonglei states, which have abundant agricultural potential and animal resources, and provide access to markets due to the proximity to the regional and international market,” Nahusenay said.