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Excitement Rising in Nairobi for Expressway Launch

Excitement is mounting in Nairobi in the runup to the formal commissioning of the Kenyan capital’s new Chinese-built Nairobi Expressway. The online reaction ranges from praise for the highway as an expression of democracy, to angry refusals to participate in its automatic tolling system.

This tolling system is key to the development’s success. China Road and Bridge Corporation, which built the highway, will recoup its costs through tolls. If it works, it will be a groundbreaking way for Global South governments to build infrastructure without gaining a crushing debt burden. But the popular reactions show that failure could extract political costs. 

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