The Vice-President of Kenya, Mr. Daniel Arap Moi said on Wednesday (11 April) that the?
The Vice-President of Kenya, Mr. Daniel Arap Moi said on Wednesday (11 April) that the Trans-African Highway was a test case for co-operation among the nations of central Africa.
Mr. Moi told the 3rd meeting of the Trans-African Highway Co-ordinating Committee, in Mombasa, that the highway held far-reaching consequence for the economy and societies of the regions through which it runs.
The co-ordinating committee is part of the Economic Commission for Africa.
Representatives of 10 African nations were meeting to review progress on the 6,400 kilometre (4,000 miles approx) highway, now under construction, which will eventually link Lagos, Nigaria and Mombasa, passing through six countries.
Mr. Moi was the major speaker on the first day of the week-long meeting. He said the highway was a much-needed link between the nations of east and west Africa, traditionally split by their former English and French colonial ties.
"It is my belief that the construction of this highway will make it possible for the most humble trader on the West Coast to sell his or her groundnuts in the eastern part of Africa. It will create an artery across Central Africa....a central contact point where all the varied types of people in our part of the world can meet freely, trade freely and live freely", he said.
SYNOPSIS: At Mombasa's Oceanic Hotel in Kenya on Wednesday, Vice-President Deniel Moi arrived to speak to the third Trans-Africa Highway Conference. He was greeted by the executive secretary of the conference, R.K. Gardner.
Mr. Moi told the gathered delegates that the trans-African highway was a test case for multi-national cooperation among African. Most of the countries in central Africa were short of good all-weather roads. He said adequate development could only come with an adequate communications system...the most important part being good freight networks.
The conference, held under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Africa, was the meet for a week to review construction progress and future plans for the highway project. Representatives attended from about ten nations and several interested organisations and agencies sent observers.
Mr. Moi, together with Dr. Gardner and other delegates, adjourned the conference after his address to view a display on the road-building techniques being used in the Trans-Africa project. There were several examples of the work already carried out on the as yet unfinished highway.
The planned highway will cover about sixty-four hundred kilometres from Legos, Nigeria to Mombasa, passing through six countries. A network of improved, all-weather feeder roads are also under construction, linking several other countries with the highway.
Mr. Moi said Kenya was fully behind the project. He said the new highway, which has been planned with the help of a British feasibility survey, would provide an artery whereby the smallest trader in West Africa could easily reach markets in the east.