In a bid to boost regional integration and trade in East Africa, the African Development Bank Group has approved US$322m in loans to Burundi and Tanzania, mostly for road upgrades.
A major component of the package is paving a 260km gravel road linking Kabingo, Kasulu and Manyovu in Tanzania.
The package also includes:
- A 45km road improvement project between Rumonge-Gitaza in southwest Burundi;
- A one stop border post between Tanzania and Burundi at Manyovu/Mugina Border;
- New health centres, schools and community water sources; and
- Rehabilitation of other rural and urban roads.
"The project will fundamentally enhance the mobility of goods and services for the people in Burundi and Tanzania", said Gabriel Negatu, director general of the bank’s East Africa Regional Development & Business Delivery Office.
"The improved transport will bring additional benefits for the two neighbouring countries, including empowering women and youth for whom new market centres will be opened and other economic activities will increase."
The projects are aimed at strengthening links between the Port of Dar es Salaam to markets in Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Road upgrades are due to be completed in 2023.
The project coincides with the bank’s ten year strategy, running from 2013 to 2022, focusing on "assisting its regional member countries achieve more inclusive and greener growth" and "including integrating Africa and improving the lives of the people of Africa".
Image: Burundi (Wikimedia Commons/Botev/CC BY 2.0)