Kenya and South Sudan are seeking to foster their bilateral relations with the announcement of the planned development of the 350km Nadapal-Juba road.

Kenya’s Transport and Infrastructure CS Kipchumba Murkomen hosted a delegation from South Sudan led by Roads and Bridges Minister Simon Mijok Mijak to strengthen trade ties.

Murkomen says the planned addressing of development challenges and construction of the road will fortify connectivity and trade relations between the two neighbouring countries.

“Our meeting focused on resolving the longstanding issues related to the development of the 350km Nadapal-Juba road,” Murkomen stated.

He added: “We committed to signing a Memorandum of Understanding that will separate border issues from connectivity, paving the way for the construction of the road."

South Sudan, Kenya’s key trade and diplomatic ally, ranks the second-largest user of the Mombasa Port after Uganda, with over 3 million metric tonnes in yearly cargo movement.

Both parties pledged to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), delineating border issues from connectivity concerns and paving the way for the road's imminent construction.

Murkomen emphasized the transformative impact of upgrading the road to bitumen standards, envisioning a surge in socio-economic development across both nations.

The benefits are manifold, ranging from facilitating seamless direct trade to reducing transportation costs for imports and exports, streamlining travel for traders, generating employment opportunities, and fostering harmonious coexistence between Kenyan and South Sudanese citizens.

Of broader significance is the envisioned connection between the Nadapal-Juba road and the route from Juba to Douala in Cameroon via the Central African Republic, forming a vital segment of the Trans-African Highway.

This linkage promises to revolutionize cross-continental commerce, bridging East Africa with West Africa and catalyzing economic integration on a continental scale.

Mijak has lauded the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority for its critical role in facilitating dialogue to boost connectivity between Kenya and South Sudan.

Once complete, the Nadapal-Juba Road will enhance cross-border trade and economic development between Kenya and South Sudan and in the process enhance bilateral ties.