The African development Bank (AfDB) says it is looking for a financial partnership to help finance a major highway spanning Kenya to Tanzania. The 445 km Malindi-Bagamoyo highway has been in the pipeline for over a year.
AfDB Chief Regional Program Officer Lawson Zankli told news outlet Xinhua that the African bank has already set aside US$300 million for the project and that they were looking for extra 400 million US Dollars.
The highway running from Kenyan Coastal town of Malindi to Bagamoyo in Tanzania will involve rehabilitation of 215 km of bitumen road on the Kenyan side and upgrading from gravel to bitumen standards of 230 km on the Tanzanian side.
Actual construction for the Malindi-Bagamoyo highway is set for late 2018 according to AfDB.
Environmental and social impact studies for the Malindi-Bagamoyo highway project are currently ongoing. The road is expected to boost the key economic activities along the Indian Ocean coast such as tourism and trade
AfDB’s current portfolio of projects in the Eastern Africa region is about 9 billion dollars, out of which about 70 percent is committed on transport, energy and water infrastructure projects.
The coastline road is expected to boost regional integration, cross-border trade, tourism, and socio-economic development, as well as improve road transport infrastructure along the Kenya and Tanzania coastlines, particularly between Mombasa and Bagamoyo.
Apart from the proposed Malindi-Bagamoyo highway, AfDB also funded the Arusha-Namanga- Athi River road whose construction was completed in 2012 and the ongoing Arusha – Holili and Taveta – Voi road, which is so far completed on the Kenyan side and construction continues on the Tanzanian side.
AfDB believes adequate road connectivity in East Africa will help boost inter-trade in the region and ultimately boost the economy.