From WantChinaTimes. Story by Liang Shih-huang and staff.
Japan has upped the competition with China in aiding East Africa’s development after signing a $275-million loan to fund Kenya’s second phase of the Mombasa port expansion, the highest loan from Japan to Kenya since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1963.
The loan is part of a $546-million contract towards achieving the 2020 projected completion date for the second phase of the Mombasa port. Once completed, the harbor’s discharge capacity is expected to increase two to threefold. The port is a driving force for East Africa’s economic development.
Japan has been funneling a greater amount of funds to African countries in recent years, especially Kenya. Kenya’s comparatively stable economy makes it a hotbed of investment.
By investing in Mombasa, Japan intends to protect and provide more business opportunities to other Japanese enterprises. Mombasa is seen as a good choice because its surroundings are soon to become special economic zones that will support the port’s expansion. Other infrastructure investments such as main roads and a transportation network are also attractive to Japanese enterprises.
Japanese ambassador to Kenya Tatsushi Terada said the Mombasa port project will enhance container capacity at the port.
China invested in building a harbor in Bagamoyo, a city in Tanzania, to compete with Mombasa Port. Both are situated in East Africa and would benefit from competition and collaboration.
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