I will make River Nile navigable – RAILA reveals his ambitious plans for Africa if elected AU Chairman


Wednesday, May 15, 2024 - Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has made his pitch, revealing his ambition to see Africa connected through a robust infrastructure network.

Speaking during a meeting with Algeria's Ambassador to Kenya Mahi Boumediene, Raila, who is eyeing the Africa Union Commission chairperson position, stated that if elected, he will make River Nile navigable.

According to Raila, one of the ways that would be achieved is through making the River Nile navigable from Uganda to the Mediterranean Sea. 

As AUC Chairperson, Raila will have sweeping executive power and a voice on how the Union uses its infrastructural budget. 

Additionally, Raila knows the transport challenges in Africa having served as the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development from 2018 to 2022. 

River Nile, one of the longest rivers in the world, is not entirely navigable due to outcropping crystalline rocks that cause huge cataracts. 

Sections between the cataracts are navigable by boats and Raila envisions making the whole 6,650-kilometre stretch navigable. 

Raila stated that Algeria and Kenya shared a similar armed war for independence and Pan-African ideals and had similar ideas on how to make the continent great. 

He added that while Kenya and other African countries could savor ending colonialism, there was a need for something concrete to show the fruits of independence.

“We agreed on the need to leave Africa's painful past behind and move the continent forward through trade and transformative infrastructure including Transcontinental railways, Trans Africa highways, African open skies, and making River Nile navigable from the Mediterranean Sea,” Raila stated. 

Raila already has the support of East African Community (EAC) countries as well as Ghana, Angola, and Guinea Bissau. 


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