Kenya and South Sudan have pledged to address border issues impeding the development of the Nadapal-Juba road.

This commitment emerged during a meeting on Monday, February 12, 2024, between Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen and his South Sudan counterpart Simon Mijok Mijak.

In the meeting, the two leaders and their delegations agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that would separate border issues from connectivity, thereby clearing the path for the construction of the 350-kilometre road connecting South Sudan and Kenya.

“South Sudan is a crucial partner for Kenya in trade and diplomacy. It is the second-largest user of the Port of Mombasa after Uganda, moving about 3 million metric tonnes of cargo annually,” Murkomen said in a statement.

“Our meeting focused on resolving the longstanding issues related to the development of the 350km Nadapal-Juba road,” he added.

According to the CS, the upgrading of the road to bitumen standards will boost socio-economic development in Kenya and South Sudan.

“Its benefits will include enhancing seamless direct trade between the two nations, reducing transportation costs for exports and imports, reducing travel time for traders, creating job opportunities and building peaceful coexistence between the people of the two countries,” CS Murkomen said.

Upon completion, Murkomen observed that the Nadapal-Juba road will connect to the route from Juba to Douala in Cameroon through the Central African Republic. This linkage will effectively connect East Africa to West Africa as part of the Trans-African Highway.

“I thank the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority, which was represented at the meeting, for facilitating discussions between Kenya and South Sudan to enhance connectivity between the two nations,” he added.

Monday’s resolutions come months after President William Ruto and his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir committed to strengthening bilateral relations for the mutual benefit of the citizens of the two nations.

During the meeting held at State House, Nairobi, in August last year, President Ruto stated that the two countries are actively pursuing joint infrastructure projects to enhance regional integration and boost trade.

The Kenyan Head of State emphasized the country’s dedication to implementing infrastructural projects under the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport Corridor project (LAPSSET), aiming to enhance connectivity, foster integration, and promote intra-regional trade.

Additionally, the two leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a fiber optic cable along the Eldoret-Juba road.