Mozambican President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi has commissioned a key link road funded by the African Development Bank.
Completion of the Negomano-Roma Road, in the country’s northern province, is already enabling communities in the Mueda district of the northern Cabo Delgado region to enjoy improved road conditions, access to health and education, and increased local economic activity.
Accompanying President Nyusi at the official commissioning ceremony on August 4 were Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, Carlos Mesquita, Cabo Delgado Province Secretary of State António Supeia, and Governor of Cabo Delgado Province, Valige Tauabo. Also present were more than 200 local residents of the Mueda district and a delegation from the African Development Bank, led by the Bank’s country manager for Mozambique, Cesar Mba Abogo.
Nyusi praised the African Development Bank as a strategic partner of his country’s development agenda. He said the road would facilitate trade, the movement of people and goods, contributing to the increase of incomes, and growth of Mozambique’s economy.
Nyusi said: “The road is a great gain for the viability and maximization of regional integration. It is also the materialization of a dream of first Mozambican president Samora Machel and his Tanzanian counterpart, Julius Nyerere, whose goal was to bring together the bonds of fraternity between both countries.”
The estimated project cost is $170 million for the construction of the 164 km road section from Negomano to Mueda. The project has been executed in phases, with the first phase approved by the African Development Bank’ board in 2016 for a loan of $70 million.
In 2019 and 2022, the Bank’s board approved an additional grant funding totaling $100 million. This was for the construction of the 35 km stretch of road between Roma and Nanbumgale. Works on the sections Roma – Nambungale – Mueda are expected to commence early in the first quarter of 2024.
The road is a priority under the Mozambican government’s development plans for the northern region, which has significant economic and social potential, despite many challenges that have resulted in a lack of economic opportunities. The road is expected to improve trade between Mozambique and Tanzania in the long term and help address some social challenges and hardships.
Construction of the road took 42 months, with 417 local workers hired by the contractor under the framework of promotion and inclusion of local content.
Speaking for the African Development Bank, Abogo said: “This road provides an opportunity for stronger economic cooperation and integration between Mozambique and Tanzania, and the entire SADC community. The delivery of such an asset is precisely what the Bank envisions by financing transformational infrastructure projects towards the achievement of its long-term strategy.”
Local residents along the corridor spoke of the road’ impact on their lives on a daily basis. Elsa Joao, a resident of Ninga, said: “Before the construction of the road, it was difficult travel to the nearby hospital to receive medical care in Negomano, especially during the rainy season.”
Another local resident remarked: “Before the construction of the road, it took three to four hours to travel between Negomano and Roma. Now, the trip can be completed in less than an hour.”
“The construction of the road marks a significant milestone for regional development,” said Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, Carlos Mesquita.
The project will include a social inclusion component involving the construction and rehabilitation of various schools, health centres, water boreholes, markets, a transformation centre for women’s associations and a vocational training centre.
The African Development Bank is one of Mozambique’s leading development partners in the transport sector.
The project aligns closely with the Bank’s regional integration priorities as well as its commitments under the African Development Fund, the Bank’s concessional lending arm. These commitments include supporting trade facilitation in African Development Fund countries and on issues related to fragility, especially for northern Mozambique.