The African Union says the continent’s infrastructure expansion should involve easing transport on inland water bodies.
AU Special Envoy for Transport and Infrastructure Raila Odinga said the East African Community, for instance, should continue investing in Lake Victoria transportation projects to expand trade in the bloc.
Mr Odinga, said Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have teamed up to improve key infrastructure and make the region a key economic hub in Africa.
Speaking while launching the dredging and removal of water hyacinth from Lake Victoria, he said the move is one of the ways of opening the port of Kisumu which has been neglected over the years.
“Clearing the hyacinth and removing the silt which has made the lake shallow will take three months,” he said during the event which took place at the port.
Mr Odinga said the initiative under the Lake Region Economic Bloc and Uganda’s Mangoe Tree Ltd will see the construction of an 80-metres wide and 63km long canal from Kisumu to Mbita.
The work will also be conducted in Muhuru, Kendu Bay, Sori, Port Victoria, Sio Port, Asembo Bay and Karungu in Kenya.
Uganda’s National Resistance Movement vice chairman Michael Mukula said Uganda will build four ships to transport fuel from the Kisumu jetty.
It will build a 70 million-litre capacity fuel reserve Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, South Kivu and North Kivu which are landlocked, he said.
“In the spirit of handshake, Uganda joins Kenya in the effort to clear the hyacinth for the unity of our people and to offer hundreds of job opportunities,” said Mr Mukula.
Ugandan Minister for Transport and Works Aggrey Henry Bagiire also noted that the dredging and removal of water hyacinth will open up economic activities of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, which share the fresh water lake.