A major road construction that connects Kenya’s Mombasa port and Burundi was completed and it is expected to cut distance to the landlocked country by 358 km, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said.
Mombasa-Burundi highway passes through Voi, Taita Taveta, Holili border, Singida-Kobero border and finally to Bujumbura.
“We expect that completion of the will spur economic growth by encouraging trade between Mombasa and Bujumbura.
He said that in an effort to ease the traffic flow between the port of Mombasa and the hinterland, a dual carriage way between Mombasa and Mariakani is being constructed with completion slated for 2020.
Mombasa-Bujumbura highway is part of the Trans-African Highway, which comprises a network of transcontinental road projects across Africa.
Launched in 1971 by UNECA, it is actually a network of nine highways whose envisioned connections among one another would cover a combined total of 60,000 kilometres across the continent.
One of these planned highways would stretch 8,000 kilometres between Cairo and Dakar; another for 8,000 kilometres between Cairo and Cape Town; a third for 6,000 kilometres between Lagos and Mombasa; and a fourth for 4,700 kilometres between Dakar and Lagos.
But only one has been completed so far: the Trans-Sahelian Highway, which runs 4,500 kilometres between Dakar in Senegal and N’Djamena in Chad.
Although the others are only half finished, countries are progressively opening them section by section.
The Africa Development Bank, one of the project’s financial backers, cites conflict and climatic conditions as reasons for the slow progress, especially in countries like Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Some highway sections that had been built lie damaged as a result.