Chinese contractors are increasingly building roads in Kenya, especially major highways and bypasses, amid complains that government agencies favour them over local and other international firms.

In 2012, for example, three Chinese firms – among them state-owned China Wu Yi – completed the construction of Thika Road; an eight lane, 50km highway linking Nairobi to Thika.

The massive expansion project was completed in about two years, without locking out motorists – a feat that resonated very well with Kenyans.

Meanwhile, Chinese firms – China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), China Wu Yi, Shengli Engineering Construction Group and Synohydro Corporation – are working on the northern corridor road project that links Mombasa and Nairobi to Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Other road projects under the powerful hands of the Chinese include the Nairobi Southern bypass, Nairobi Eastern bypass, Nairobi Northern bypass, the dualing of Lang’ata Road, and the expansion of Outering Road among many others.