AfDB funds give East African road development major boost

Road_to_ArushaThe road between Arusha and Mombasa is set for a major upgrade. (Image source: Kat Stan)The African Development Bank (AfDB) has granted US$300 million towards the construction of the Arusha-Mombasa Highway

The road project has been estimated to cost in the region of $560 million and will enhance trade within the East Africa Community (EAC).

The EAC Secretariat will continue to seek the additional $260 million to complete the road, which will connect northern and central Tanzania to the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

Better roads within the EAC have become a critical necessity in recent years with intra-EAC trade doubling from $2.2 billion in 2005 to $4.1 billion in 2010.

The Arusha-Mombasa road will be upgraded to a four-lane highway to ease road transport along the agricultural region of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Taita Taveta in Kenya.

It will also provide a major boost to tourism as it passes through the scenic Tsavo National Park in Kenya.

The EAC has been investing heavily in infrastructure developments with the $200 million Arusha–Athi River highway close to completion and construction of a 24km section of road between Voi and Mwatate already underway.

Tanzania has also received $216.8 million from the AfDB to upgrade and construct the Dodoma-Babati, Tunduru-Magaka and the Mangaka-Mtambaswala roads.

Mwangi Mumero

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