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The East African : January 27th 2014
6 The EastAfrican NEWS JANUARY 25-31,2014 CHINESE ONSLAUGHT Kenya’s Thika superhighway leads to more mega-projects Chinese fi≥ms have been awa≥ded othe≥ luc≥ative p≥ojects in Kenya to const≥uct buildings, ai≥po≥t te≥minals By STEVE MBOGO Special Correspondent kilometre-long Thika superhighway in Kenya, said its completion was an engineering feat as it was done when the road was still in use. The superhighway is one H of the biggest infrastructure projects by Chinese companies so far. It was handled by SinoHydro Corporation, China Wu Yi and Sheng Li Engineering Company. The involvement of the Chi- ari Ramesh, chief resident engineer for the 50.4 nese in mega infrastructure projects in Kenya appears to be increasing. China Bridge and Road Construction has been chosen as the contractor of the standard gauge railway line. Anhui Construction Engineering Group and China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation are the chosen contractors of the Greenfield Terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. Chinese companies may also benefit from contracts to develop the LAPSSET in- The 50 kilometre-long Thika superhighway in Kenya, which was funded by AfDB but constructed by Chinese firms SinoHydro Corporation, China Wu Yi and Sheng Li Engineering Company. Picture: File frastructure in particular the pipeline to move oil from Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan to the yet to be constructed Lamu Port; the railway line linking Ethiopia to Lamu Port and other related infrastructure. Analysts see infrastructure and trade as the biggest drivers of China-Africa relations. “The ties between China and Kenya will continue to grow because of the converging interests in infrastructure, innovation and natural resources,” said Denise Kodhe, the executive director of the Institute for Democracy and Leadership in Africa. Analysts said there is well co-ordinated co-operation between Chinese public and private institutions in their competition with the West to win big infrastructure contracts in Africa especially where bilateral concession loans have been provided by Chinese public financial institutions. Pricing Chinese companies give SENIOR STAFF APPOINTMENTS AT GM EAST AFRICA Carolyne Matara has been appointed GM Executive and General Counsel for GM Africa based in Nairobi, Kenya. In her new role, Carolyne takes responsibility for Legal functions across GM Africa, Israel and Iraq. She continues serving as Board Member of GM East Africa. CAROLYNE MATARA Carolyne holds an LLM from the University of Nairobi and a Post Graduate Diploma in Law. She has eight years of service to GM East Africa. Samuel Nyoro has been appointed General Manager – Aftersales, GM East Africa. In his new role, Samuel takes responsibility for Service and Parts Operations as well as Technical support, reporting to the Managing Director. SAMUEL NYORO Samuel holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from JKUAT and currently pursuing an MBA from the same university. He has seventeen years of service to GM East Africa. competitive prices for projects, which is an added advantage. This has seen them win projects financed by Western financial institutions and multilateral bodies like the African Development Bank, which financed the Thika superhighway. Another advantage that Chinese firms have is that their government uses its financial and technology muscle to give Chinese companies an edge in Africa. For instance, in 2009 the China Development Bank gave a loan to Kenya construction company Erdemann Property for the construction of 586 houses. The construction of the houses was done by China Wu Yi. This same company is constructing the KCB Bank Centre in Upper Hill, Nairobi, one of the first buildings that will utilise green technology to reduce demand for power and water. Mr Ramesh said a project of the magnitude of Thika superhighway is not only about easing transport but is also about technology transfer. For instance, under the construction phase, engineering students and professionals from Kenyan univer- KEY PROJECTS ROAD: The Thika superhighway was handled by SinoHydro Corporation, China Wu Yi and Sheng Li Engineering Company. RAILWAY: China Bridge and Road Construction has been chosen as the contractor of Kenya’s standard gauge railway line. AIRPORT: Anhui Construction Engineering Group and China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation are the chosen sities and technical colleges would be embedded with the project engineers to improve their on-the-job skills. He said the project also received delegations from across Africa as project planners mainly drawn from the public sectors sought to learn about the project. “This is a historic infra- structure project for Kenya and it is vital that the mistakes made and how they were or are being resolved become future reference points,” said Evaristus Irandu of the University of Nairobi, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. contractors of the Greenfield Terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. BUILDINGS: In 2009 the China Development Bank gave a loan to Kenyan construction company Erdemann Property for the construction of 586 houses. The construction was carried out by China Wu Yi. This firm is now constructing the KCB Bank Centre in Upper Hill, Nairobi that will utilise green technology. While much of the co-op- eration has been in infrastructure development, the Chinese are seeking to widen the scope to other sectors, according to Chinese ambassador to Kenya Liu Guangyuan. One key focus is the media. “Nowadays, both the Chinese and the African people are eager to understand each other more than ever before. This trend presents vast opportunities for China-Africa media co-operation,” said Mr Guangyuan. He said that the Chinese The ties between China and Kenya will continue to grow because of the converging interests in infrastructure, innovation and natural resources.” Denise Kodhe, executive director of the Institute for Democracy and Leadership in Africa government will this year set up the China-Africa Press Exchange Centre in China where East African media houses have been invited to set up offices so that they can tell African stories to the Chinese people more directly. Four Chinese state media houses have also established headquarters and branches in several African countries, with state news agency Xinhua having a presence in more than 40 African countries. China has also established several Confucius Institutes to teach Chinese language and culture in Africa and will start offering masters degrees in Chinese language this year.
January 20th 2014
February 3rd 2014