President William Ruto is expected to arrive in Japan later today for the first State Visit accorded to a Kenyan Head of State by Japan, since Kibaki in 2004.
The president will hold bilateral talks with Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, before being hosted by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan for a luncheon.
Later in the evening, the Prime Minister and his wife will host Ruto for a State dinner.
While in Japan, the president and is expected to secure funding for various projects covering defense, road construction, and health.
Although not formally announced, it is believed that the top ticket item in Ruto’s visit is the proposed Mombasa Gate Bridge, a piece of infrastructure that has been talked about for literally decades.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is expected to provide funding for the estimated Sh100 billion bridge, with very favorable terms. It’s worth noting that the final figure has still not been revealed.
If everything goes according to plan, construction should begin some time this year, and go on for a period of 36 months. The project should be complete by late 2027 or early 2028.
The Mombasa Gate Bridge will finally provide a road connection between Mombasa island and mainland through the Likoni Channel. Currently, the route is serviced by ferries, which has been a huge impediment to trade in the coastal city.
The 1.4km, four-lane, cable-stayed bridge will be one of the longest and tallest in all of Africa. At its mid-point, it will be 69 metres high, offering enough clearance for even the biggest container ships to cross underneath.
According to technical specifications, the projects also entails about 12km of approach bridge, ramp bridge, approach road, and street upgrade.
According to the Ministry of Transport, about 80,000 Kenyans will be employed during construction directly and indirectly.
The Mombasa Gate Bridge is set to be one of Kenya’s most iconic infrastructural projects, and certainly one of President Ruto’s flagship projects.
Check it out.