AfDB approves $229m loans for highway expansion project in Kenya


The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved €209m ($229.1m) loans to fund the expansion of a highway that links major economic hubs in Kenya.

The five-year project, which is estimated to cost €257.68m ($282.4m), will receive €178.02m ($195.1m) (69%) from the AfDB, while the Africa Growing Together Fund will provide 12% of the total cost of the project.

Africa Growing Together Fund was set up by the African Development Bank and the People’s Bank of China in 2014.

The project, which will also secure 19% of the total cost from Kenyan government, will convert the 84km Kenol-Sagana-Marua Road in central and eastern Kenya from a two-way single carriageway into a dual bypass.

Planned for completion in 2025, the new road is intended to enhance traffic flow between the port city of Mombasa and major centres such as Nairobi as well as ease transport between Nairobi and the Mount Kenya region; and ultimately Ethiopia.

The project is part of the country’s broader efforts to improve its infrastructure, including the construction of 1,304km of new roads in recent years.

The current Kenol-Sagana-Marua Road is located along the ‘Great North Road’ and is part of the Trans-Africa Highway.

The ‘Great North Road’ forms part of the 800km stretch between Nairobi and Moyale. Great North Road runs across the five counties of Muranga, Kirinyaga, Machakos, Embu and Nyeri.

Earlier in 2019, the AfDB approved a $70m loan for a road project in Ebonyi State in southeastern Nigeria.

The total cost of the project amounts to $167.60m and the construction is expected to be completed in five years, creating approximately 1,400 jobs during the construction phase.

The project is expected to help the agricultural State of Ebonyi to develop special agro-industrial zones dedicated to the processing of subsistence crops, in addition to the improvement of road safety.

Image: The project will convert the Kenol-Sagana-Marua Road in Kenya into a dual bypass. Photo: courtesy of skeeze from Pixabay.

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