File photo shows road construction equipment during their inspection in Juba, capital of South Sudan. (Xinhua/Denis Elamu)
NAIROBI, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Chinese contractors are on course to complete the Kenya-South Sudan highway in 2020, according to a Kenyan official.
Julius Korir, principal secretary in Kenya's Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development told Xinhua in Nairobi that three Chinese contractors won the tender to upgrade about 248 km of road to bitumen standards on the Kenyan section of the road that links to South Sudan.
"So far the project is about 30 percent complete and we expect the road to be commissioned in 2020," said Korir.
Korir said that Kenya is prioritizing the Kenya-South Sudan highway, which is part of the East African Community road network, in order to boost intra-regional trade.
According to the government official, trade between South Sudan and Kenya is hampered due to poor quality of roads.
"Kenyan traders are forced to travel through Uganda in order reach South Sudan, a process that could take up to three days. With the new road, travel time will be cut by at least two days," Korir said.