Kenya gathers $194m fund for new generation of toll roads

The government of Kenya has amassed a fund worth $194m (Sh20bn) from a national fuel levy to roll out a new generation of tolled highways.

Director of the Treasury’s public private partnerships (PPPs) unit, Stanley Kamau, said the fund would be used to attract private investors in joint ventures to build and maintain new roads.

Created only two years ago, the Roads Annuity Fund collected Sh51 billion in fuel levies in the year to June 2016 compared to Sh32.1 billion it received the previous year, thanks to an increase of Sh3 per litre in fuel levy, reports newspaper Daily Nation.

On 14 March Stanley Kamau said the government wouldsoon implement a controversial road tolling programme that will see the state introduce charges on some major roads using public-private partnerships.

The tolling policy has now been approved by the Cabinet, he said, with only "a few additional steps" required to prepare for implementation, Daily Nation reported.

"One of the remaining steps is to extend the consultation to the public and convey to them the benefits of these projects," said Kamau.

Under the planned model, developers will be enlisted to build roads and levy charges to recover their costs by collecting tolls.

Infrastructure ministry officials said last November under the plan user fees would be introduced on Thika Road, the Southern Bypass, the Nairobi-Mombasa highway, the second Nyali Bridge and the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit highway.

Image: The Isiolo-Marsabit Highway, Kenya (Ephymbaya/Creative Commons)

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