Uganda SGR
Photo: Antony Trivet

East Africa has over the past few years maintained steady economic growth, being the fastest growing region in the continent. Economic growth and growing demand for infrastructure services has seen countries in the region undertake mega projects. According to the National Construction Authority quarterly report, the following are the top ten most valuable projects in the region.

  1. The Grand Renaissance Dam

The massive dam on the Blue Nile River has been under construction since 2011 and is on course to become the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa upon completion. It is estimated the dam will have the capacity to inject 6450 MW into Ethiopia’s electric grid. In addition, the dam will be able to absorb all flood causing run off, irrigate 500,000 acres of land and supply water to the region all adding to its usefulness.

  1. Lake Turkana Wind Power Project

Located in Loyangalani District of Marsabit County, the Lake Turkana Wind Power farm uses 365 wind turbines each with a capacity to generate 850KW bringing the total potential to over 310MW of power when the wind farm becomes operational. The project includes a high voltage substation which will be connected to the national grid.

  1. Koysha Electric Dam

Another one of Ethiopia’s latest infrastructure drive is Koysha Dam, located along the Omo River, which flows out of Lake Turkana in Kenya, near the Southern Ethiopian border. The dam will generate about 2000MW of power besides irrigation water.

  1. Kigali Innovation City

Launched in 2016, Kigali Innovation City is envisioned to provide a conducive ecosystem for local and international technology and innovation companies to thrive. The African focused innovation city aims to drive Africa’s digital transformation agenda, moving from agrarian to knowledge-based economies to boost economic productivity using three platforms; the digital innovation platform, human capital development platform and innovation friendly financing platform. The cost of putting up the city is estimated at $1.9 billion.

  1. Mtwara Gas Project

Commissioned in 2016, the undertaking involved the construction of a 542 Kilometre gas pipeline that connects natural gas reserves in Mtwara, Lindi and Dar-es-Salaam. The country, which has some of the largest natural gas reserves in the region is initiated the project to diversify its energy sources. The project has an installed capacity of 18MW and is the only power source for Mtwara and Lindi regions.

  1. Central Railway

The 202 Kilometre Standard Gauge Railway that runs through he country from the Capital, Dar-es-Salaam to Rwanda and Burundi. When complete, the project is expected to contribute positively to the economy of Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and DRC Congo.

  1. Mieso-Dire Dwa-Dewanle Railway Line, Ethiopia

Linking Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa to Djibouti’s capital, the project will cover 740 kilometers. The project is part of a network of railway projects extending over 4774 Kilometres and creating a series of trade routes to Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and the port of Djibouti.

  1. Karuma Hydro-Power Plant

The government of Uganda is undertaking the construction of the largest dam in Uganda, located at Karuma. The $1.7 billion Karuma dam project which is funded and built by the Chinese, has a capacity of producing 600MW of power. Work on the dam is set to be completed before the end of this year.

  1. Awash-Woldia-Hara Gebeya Rail Project

The projects whose main purpose is to connect Northern and Central Ethiopia with the Port of Djibouti serves several cities of the Amhara region directly. The railway line also connects industrial zones with neighbouring countries. The project will connect approximately a third of Ethiopia’s expansive population with mobility, export and import efficiency, and boost economic activity.

  1. Standard Gauge Railway Project

A flagship project under Kenya’s Vision 2030 development agenda, the Standard Gauge Railway was designed to enhance transportation within and across the country’s borders. The first phase of the project which involved the construction of a 472 kilometre long single track standard gauge railway between Mombasa and Nairobi is complete while the second phase from Nairobi to Naivasha is ongoing. The project is expected to open up the country’s trade, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality sectors.