In a recent three-day official visit to Kenya, Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete launched the 89 km Taveta-Mwatate road in Kenya’s south eastern region which represented a total investment of USD 7.45 million and is part of the Arusha-Holili/Taveta-Voi Road project that aims at connecting the Northern and Central Corridors in East Africa.
The project, co-funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Africa Trade Fund and the Governments of Tanzania and Kenya totaling USD 173.86 million, is expected to raise cross-border trade between both countries by 50% once completed in December 2018, explained President Kikwete.
This growth in trade will be supported by a reduction in transport costs between Mombasa Port in Kenya and Arusha in Tanzania from the current USD 0.52 per vehicle kilometre (veh-km) to USD 0.34 per veh-km once the project is completed.
An expected rise on frequency of trips to transport cargo and passengers will also support the growth since the travel time between both road’s points will be reduced from the current 30 hours to merely 6 hours.
These improvements on non-tariff barriers will boost business in the region and will attract more foreign large-scale investors to Tanzania and Kenya, explained Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta.
According to the AfDB, the current trade volume between Kenya and Tanzania through the Holili/Taveta border totals 0.4 million tonnes per annum while the number of tourists reach the 40,000 per annum.
With the completion of the project, the cargo carried through the Holili/Taveta border is expected to total 3.0 million tonnes per annum while the number of tourists is expected to reach the 100,000 per annum by 2020.