Kenya has awarded a $217m contract to Switzerland-based firm SBI International Holdings for road construction in the west of the country.

The company will build two highway sections totalling 136km from Mau Summit in the Rift Valley west to the town of Nyamasaria. Work is expected to begin next year and finish by mid-2012.

The project will be 67 financed by funds from the World Bank’s unit International Development Association, with the remainder from the Kenyan government.