With the planned development of a 32 berth sea port on the Western seaboard of Indian Ocean, Lamu is destined to be the most exciting investment destination over the next few decades. The seaport will provide a maritime gateway to a 250 million population in the rich hinterland of Africa through a high speed railway that links with Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Juba in South Sudan, Bangui in Central Africa Republic, Younde in Cameroon, and stretches all the way to Doula on the Eastern seaboard of Atlantic Ocean in what is currently being referred to as the Great Equitorial Land Bridge. This land bridge is meant to open up inaccessible inland parts of Africa to unlock their potential and create inestimable business opportunities.
Ethiopia, with a 100+ million people, is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. South Sudan, which recently became independent of the North, has valuable minerals and very large oil deposits. A pipeline will be laid to connect these oil fields to the processing refinery to be built in Lamu. Commercially drillable oil fields have also been discovered in Kenya and, together with gas deposits in Lamu, are expected to add to the buzz of economic activity in the Lamu metropolis. Lamu Island is a tourism haven and has already been declared a UNICEF heritage site. An international airport for the convenience of the international traveller, whether for leisure or business, is to compliment the 1st class communication network being developed there. The impressive US $ 23 billion Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) project centred around Lamu, links South Sudan, Ethiopia and eventually the Equitorial Expanse to this melting pot of diverse cultures, leisure and economic activities. Its free port status will make it a natural magnet to international businesses.