The World Bank has announced that it will provide $1.2bn to support infrastructure development and improve economic integration in the East African Community (EAC) states of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.Â
The World Bank, through the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, will provide the money by offering repayment guarantees to private sector funders. The money will be released over the course of between three and seven years.Â
The financing will be in addition to individual countries’ infrastructure development investments.Â Â
Philippe Dongier, the World Bank country director for Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda, said: "We are partnering with the EAC governments, other development partners and the private sector to invest in regional infrastructure and to help deepen policy integration and reduce barriers to trade."Â
He said the money would be used to revive inland waterways on lakes Victoria and Tanganyika, and to enhance the capacity and efficiency of the port infrastructure at Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania and Mombasa in Kenya.Â Â
He added: "We will also invest in transport links to better connect the landlocked countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan to the northern and central corridors, improving these countries’ access to the ports of Mombasa and Dar-es-Salaam."Â
Oumar Seydi, IFC director for eastern and southern Africa, said: "IFC intends to do more to support ports, power, rail, transport, and other key infrastructure projects in the EAC in the years ahead."Â
The investment is intended to facilitate the movement of people, goods and capital and to benefit farmers, traders, youth and women in the region.