African Union Envoy for Infrastructure Development in Africa, Raila Odinga, wowed leaders and congregants alike when he was welcomed to shed light on the AU's infrastructure project.
Raila was addressing the Kusi Ideas Festival that was held at the Intare Conference Arena in Kigali, Rwanda, between December 8 and 9, 2019.
Dubbed the 'Wakanda Like Dream', the infrastructure project would entail; high-speed railway lines, continental highways, waterways, and airways set to be realised by the year 2063.
Raila, while highlighting what Africa needed to accomplish, introduced his speech with a series of quotes and proverbs sending the congregants into applause for the former premier.
"Until the lion learns to write, the story of the hunt will always favour the hunter. So the African lion needs to write its own story," Raila stated.
Lauding Rwanda's president Paul Kagame's efforts to link Africa, the former premier stressed on the need to bolster interconnectivity in the African continent so as to foster intra-African trade.
The former premier stated that Africa had to fast track its development plans pointing out the lack of infrastructure as a major contributor to the continent's stunted progress.
Raila reflected on the coffee and tea trade between Kenya and the Central African Republic (CAR) further emphasizing on the need for better infrastructure systems in the continent.
"For example, only South Sudan stands between Kenya and the CAR, you have to board coffee into a ship that will go round the cape all the way to Yaounde, then by road to Bangui, CAR," Raila stated.
"When you get there the French were there much earlier than you. They are drinking Kenyan coffee christened Nescafe, Kenyan tea as English Breakfast tea," he added.
Again attracting applause from congregants and leaders alike.
Raila revealed that it was such forms that prompted the AU through NEPAD to come up with a project to facilitate the interconnectivity between the African States in a bid to foster intra-African trade.
The AU envoy made public the highways already identified by the AU for development, which included; Cape Town to Cairo, Cairo to Dakar, Dakar to Lagos, Dakar to Ndjamena, Lagos to Mombasa, Tripoli to Cape Town and Ndjamena to Djibouti.
On the highspeed railway lines set to be established, Raila named; the Lagos-Kano-Ndjamena, Beira-Harare-Lusaka-Angola, Lamu-Addis Ababa, and the Lamu-Juba-Bangui-Youande-Kribi lines.
His mastery of detail and the sequential breakdown was lauded by the leaders and earned the former premier a standing ovation.
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