China's Superhighway on Kenyan Soil

Three Chinese companies are building a 31-mile highway to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. It's a move locals see as an effort to gain favor with the Kenyan government.
June 23, 2011, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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Chinese companies are hoping this will help enable them to get into the Kenyan market.

"Peter Ngau, who teaches urban planning at the University of Nairobi, says East Africa has never seen anything like it.

"There's no comparison," he says. "It's a showpiece of the government."

Ngau says the highway will increase business and help expand the Kenyan economy. The road will help link Kenya to Ethiopia, a major regional economy with about 80 million people. Apartment buildings are already sprouting along the sides of the highway.

It's also expected to ease some of Nairobi's crippling traffic. It takes Ngau two hours to drive down the road to class each morning. When the highway is finished, he expects it will take him less than 40 minutes to get to work."

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Published on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 in NPR
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