By EA Trade Review Reporter

The World Bank Group has approved $500 million for the development of the transport and trade corridor in north-western Kenya and improve the livelihoods of the communities in Turkana and West Pokot counties.

The bank says the East Africa Regional Transport, Trade and Development Facilitation Project will enhance regional competitiveness by improving the movement of goods and people in Eastern Africa.

It will support upgrading of the road linking Kenya to its neighbors in the north-western border and also enhance internet connectivity between the countries and the rest of world. The project will cost an estimated $676 million, with the balance being contributed by the Kenya Government.

Kenya has a long established transport and trade link to the north-west but the poor state of the road constrains growth opportunities along this important corridor,” says Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.

 

By Fridah Nkibugah

Kenya has now joined the lower-middle income countries according to the latest World Bank estimates of Gross National Income per capita (GNI).

The bank says Kenya now joins Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Tajikistan that have continued to show improved economic performance.

Mongolia and Paraguay move from lower middle-income status to upper middle-income, a group with yearly income levels of $4,126 to $12,735.

Beset by civil war and a national oil industry at a standstill, South Sudan has fallen out of the lower middle-income classification and back into low-income status, where average per capita incomes are $1,045 or less.

The new GNI per capita rankings show that Maldives and Mongolia were the highest movers in the rankings – up 13 and 8 places, respectively. Oman and Timor-Leste fell most from their 2013 ranking – down 15 places for both.

 

By EA Trade Review Reporter

The World Bank has provided $50 million to four East African countries to strengthen access to a network of quality public health laboratories with revitalized disease surveillance, prevention and preparedness capabilities.

The bank which funding goes to Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda says the 2014 Ebola outbreak highlighted major gaps in disease prevention and control efforts in health systems across East Africa.

According to the bank, the money will build on the achievements of the ongoing East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project (EAPHLIN) to establish a network of efficient public health laboratories for the diagnosis and surveillance of communicable diseases in the EAC member countries.

The project provides a game changer opportunity to work together to contain the spread of diseases in East Africa,” said Fausta Mosha, Director of the National Health Laboratory Quality Assurance and Training Center in Tanzania.

 

By EA Trade Reporter

 

The World Bank has given additional US$ 22 million to help East African Community partner states enhance environmental management of the Lake Victoria basin.

The bank’s Board of Executive Directors says the additional financing for the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project Phase II will contribute to collaborative management of the Lake Victoria Basin among the partner states and improve the environmental management of targeted pollution hotspots and sub-catchments in the Basin.

It says the additional financing will boost the number of beneficiaries to 450,000, roughly a 50 per cent increase in the number under the current project.

The amount that combined grant and credit supports implementation of expanded activities that scale up the project’s impact, which aims to tackle the environmental challenges of the Lake Victoria Basin over the long-term to improve the welfare of its inhabitants.

 

By Jim Yong Kim

Before I begin, I want to pause to remember the 147 students at Garissa University College in Kenya who were senselessly murdered just a few days ago. Schools are sacred grounds, and all who study there should be safe. Let us reflect for a moment.

Just 15 years into the new millennium, economic development in poor countries and emerging markets is at a critical crossroads. Much of the attention has been on the near horizon – concerns about the slow-moving global economy, uncertainties over the price of oil, and conflicts from the Ukraine to the Middle East to parts of Africa. But when we look at the longer term picture, we see that the decisions made this year will have an enormous impact on the lives of billions of people across the world for generations to come.

2015 is the most important year for global development in recent memory. In July, world leaders will gather in Addis Ababa to discuss how we’ll finance our development priorities in the years ahead. In September, world leaders will come together at the United Nations to establish the Sustainable Development Goals – a group of targets and goals set for 2030. And in December, world leaders again will gather in Paris to work out an agreement based on government commitments to lessen the severe short- and long-term risks of climate change.

 

“We must promote freer trade that provides greater access to markets for the poor and enables entrepreneurs in low- and middle-income countries to grow their businesses and create new jobs. Fourth, we must invest in health and education, especially for women and children. And finally, we must implement social safety nets and provide social insurance, including initiatives that protect against the impact of natural disasters and pandemics,” says Yo kim

 

By EA Trade Review Reporter

Kenya and Uganda are among the countries to benefit from $1.8 billion pledged to the countries in the Horn of Africa to boost economic development.

Leaders of key global and regional institutions who Monday begun an historic trip to the Horn of Africa pledged political support and new financial assistance for countries in the region.

They included UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the World Bank Group (WBG) President, Jim Yong Kim, as well as the President of the Islamic Development Bank Group and high level representatives of the African Union Commission, the European Union, the African Development Bank, and Intergovernmental Agency for Development (IGAD).

 

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