President William Ruto has signed a deal worth Ksh.8.7 billion with an American firm, the Unites States’ Millennium Change Corporation (MCC) to finance the acquisition of electric buses for Line 2 of Nairobi’s Bus Rapid Transit system.
President William Ruto met MCC CEO Alice Albright in New York on Tuesday 19th for the signing of the deal. The president signed the deal on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, United States. Treasury CS Njuguna Ndungu and MCC CEO Alice Albright signed the multibillion deal that will introduce high-capacity buses to reduce traffic congestion.
He said the Kenya Urban Mobility and Growth Threshold Program will help Kenya deal with traffic congestion within the Nairobi Metropolitan Area.
“Mobility in Nairobi is very important to us. The city has 5 million people during the day and 4 million at night, so this means there are 1 million people who come every day, posing a very significant challenge to the infrastructure. The bus transport system is a very important component,” Ruto said.
Ruto added that they are also working on a rail system around Nairobi and they have built 28 stations out of a possible 38. MCC is a US government body created by Congress in 2004. The corporation on its website says it partners with “the world’s poorest countries that are committed to just and democratic governance, economic freedom and investing in their populations.”
MCC CEO Alice Albright said that the grant from MCC to the Government of Kenya is the largest and one of the most ambitious threshold programs that MCC has ever implemented with a partner country.
“This grant from MCC to the Government of Kenya is the largest and one of the most ambitious threshold programs that MCC has ever implemented with a partner country,” MCC CEO Alice Albright said.
The funding will help Kenya to attain its urban connectivity and promote economic growth according to MCC CEO. Additionally, she said that the aid will also foster close ties between Kenya and the United States.
The Washington DC-based body’s directors’ board in December 2019 selected Kenya as eligible to develop a second threshold program. According to MCC, Tuesday’s signing was after several years of collaboration on the design of projects.
“Analysis, conducted jointly by MCC and the Government of Kenya, revealed that Kenya’s urban areas—particularly in the capital city, Nairobi—did not enjoy the significant productivity gains frequently associated with urbanization,” MCC said in a statement seen by Citizen Digital.
“Limited planning and a lack of prioritization in investments related to land use and transportation undermine connectivity and lead to fragmentation, limiting productivity among manufacturing firms in Nairobi and between workers and economic opportunities.”
This comes at a time when Kenya is yet to recover from its struggles with fuel shortage which is causing a surge in fuel prices and negatively affecting the living standards of many Kenyans.