The African Development Bank Group (AfDB Group) has approved $322.35m loans and grant to Burundi and Tanzania to finance the upgrade of Rumonge-Gitaza (45km) and Kabingo-Kasulu-Manyovu (260km) roads.
The project is intended to strengthen regional integration and trade in the East African Community, especially between Tanzania and Burundi, through improved cross-border transport.
It is part of the East African roads network linking the Port of Dar es Salaam to the markets in Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The project consists of several phases, including the upgrading of the Kabingo-Kasulu-Manyovu (260km) road section in Tanzania from gravel to bitumen standard, and rehabilitation of Rumonge-Gitaza (45km) paved road section in Burundi.
It also involves the construction and operationalisation of a One Stop Border Post between Tanzania and Burundi at Manyovu/Mugina border; rural/urban roads rehabilitation, construction of health centres and schools, community water sources; and road safety, institutional support and capacity building, including compensation and resettlement of people affected by the project.
To be completed in 2023, the project aligns with the National Development Plans of Burundi and Tanzania, particularly the sectoral policies on transport.
Upon completion, the road will help open up rural areas, reduce vehicle operating costs, and improve road safety and access to socio-economic and health infrastructure located along roads, particularly in Burundi’s Rumonge province and Tanzania’s Kigoma region.
African Development Bank Group East Africa regional development and business delivery office director-general Gabriel Negatu said: “The project will fundamentally enhance the mobility of goods and services for the people in Burundi and Tanzania.
“The improved transport will bring additional benefits for the two neighboring countries, including empowering women and youth for whom new market centers will be opened and other economic activities will increase.”
The project is in line with the objectives of the bank’s Ten-Year Strategy (2013-2022), which focuses on assisting the regional member countries achieve more inclusive and greener growth via the bank’s High5 priorities, including integrating Africa and improving the lives of the people of Africa.
The project is also consistent with the bank’s Country Strategy Papers for both countries, which have infrastructure development as an important pillar.
It is one of the priorities in the bank’s East African Regional Integration Strategy Paper (2018-2022).
Image: AfDB approves $322m for road projects in Burundi and Tanzania. Photo: Courtesy of Jairph / Unsplash.