Tanzania and Kenya have partnered to secure loans and grants from international lenders totaling over €764m (about $837.6m) to build a transport infrastructure linking Kenya and Tanzania.
The massive project will boost trade and commerce in the East African region.
The transport infrastructure will comprise of road and bridge projects which are believed to benefit over three million people in the region directly. Farmers, manufacturers and traders will get improved access to local markets and ports in the two countries as submitted by one of the lenders, the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The road project, planned in stages, will run near the Indian Ocean coast from the Kenyan port metropolis of Mombasa south to the Tanzanian port of Bagomoyo, a distance of about 440km.
Last week, the AfDB said it had approved a €345m loan for phase one of that project, which involves building 175km of road sections: the 121km Mkanga-Pangani road in Tanzania and the 54km Mombasa-Kilifi road in Kenya.
The European Union gave the Kenyan government a grant of €30m for the project, whose total cost is €399.7m, AfDB said.
Complementing the road corridor, meanwhile, will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in Africa linking Mombasa Island, site of Mombasa old town and the deepwater port, over Kilindi Harbour south to the mainland at Likoni.
AfDB says this bridge, called Mombasa Gate Bridge, is a “critical link” in the road corridor. Its first phase is being financed mostly by Japan.
Last week, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the government of Kenya signed a $440m (€389.6m) funding agreement for the first phase of the bridge’s construction.
In time, AfDB and JICA will co-finance the project, with total funding expected to be more than $1.2bn. AfDB said it would be the largest co-financing agreement ever between it and JICA.
In sum, the contributions from AfDB, EU and JICA total €764.6m.
Speaking of the road project, AfDB’s regional sector manager Hussein Iman said:
“The project will have spillover benefits for hinterland countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan that depend on Mombasa as a gateway to global markets.”
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Credit: The Global Construction Review
Header Image Credit: DW