World Bank Says No to Funding Kenyan Road Project

The World Bank says it does not intend to finance a major road project in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, under its current structure.

In a Feb. 2 statement, the bank said it made the decision following a detailed review and due diligence on the Nairobi Toll Road Project and its sponsors, which “found that the systems and approach to compliance procedures would not be commensurate with the circumstances of this project and the governance risks facing this sector.”

The project involves a partnership between the Kenyan government and Strabag AG and Housing and Construction Holding Co. to design, build, fund and operate a 106-kilometer section of the Nairobi Toll Road on a 30-year concessional basis.

The World Bank said it will be ready to support the arrangement if Strabag “agrees to expand its integrity compliance procedures and training programs to cover the company more completely,” stressing that any funding support from the agency requires compliance with its social and environmental standards, as well as with Kenyan law, including on land acquisition.

Despite the move, the bank assured Kenya of its commitment to partner with the government in its efforts to improve the country’s road and urban infrastructure. The statement noted that the development agency has invested more that USD460 million in the Kenyan road sector over the last five years.

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    Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.