By Seth Green
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) last Friday approved USD 71.8M grant and USD 3.1M loan to the Government of Mozambique for the construction of an asphalted 70km road section in Northern Mozambique, to improve connectivity with Tanzania.
The project will open up that isolated part of the country, contributing to the economic growth and the eradication of poverty, as well as foster cross border trade and reinforce regional integration.
The road segment Mueda – Negomano represents a missing link on the transport corridor between Mozambique and Tanzania. The Bank will finance the paving of the road for phase I. This phase, approved today, finances a 70km road section which starts at Negomano, located adjacent to the Ruvuma River, the natural frontier with Tanzania. The section ends in the locality of Roma.
The improvement of the road will reduce from three to one hour the time to travel between the two localities. That first phase will be complemented by a second one, planned to start in 2019, which will connect Roma to Mueda and includes the construction of a one stop border post.
“The project is key for traders and road users, who transport goods between Tanzania and Mozambique. Following the completion, they will benefit from more direct and shorter journeys to the ports of Pemba in Mozambique and Mtwara in Tanzania, effectively enhancing regional trade” said AfDB Chief Transport Engineer, Aymen Osman Ali.
The new road will extend the paved road recently built in the Tanzanian side, financed by an AfDB project approved in 2012.
“The Bank is well positioned to support such development of regional corridors and road infrastructure due to its ability to coordinate programs and projects across countries. The outcomes of the project will significantly contribute to attaining the goals of the Bank’s High Five (Hi-5s) in the regions concerned, contributing to “Integrate Africa” explained Amadou Oumarou, Director of Transport and ICT department of the AfDB.
The project includes the development of a masterplan for transport infrastructure and connectivity for the Northern regions of Mozambique (Niassa, Cabo Delgado and Nampula provinces). The Masterplan will target the various sub-sectors such as maritime, railways, roads and bridges, and will act as an update to existing national plans, in light of the anticipated major economic transformation in the Northern region.
Part of the financing will also be dedicated to improve the living conditions of the population in the project area and the preservation of wildlife, through a Social Inclusion and Biodiversity Program (SIBP).
The program includes seeks to increase accessibility to the transport system for locals and to increase their economic opportunities.
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