The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank approved on March 30th 2016, a USD 228 million loan to the Government of Kenya to rehabilitate 172-kilometre road, linking the towns of Ahero in Kenya and Isebania on the Tanzanian border.
The improvement works, which are to be undertaken from 2016-2019, are expected to reduce to half the travel time and transport costs between Isebania and Ahero, a trade axis located southeast of Lake Victoria.
The Isebania-Kisii-Ahero Road forms part of the Sirari Corridor, a major trade and transit route linking Tanzania, Kenya and South Sudan. It serves as the main trade route between Mwanza port (Tanzania), Kisumu port (Kenya), and onward to Juba (South Sudan).
The project implementation area is at the crossroads of several road corridors.
Once completed, the road will facilitate trade between Kenya and Tanzania, while the social aspects associated with the project will accelerate the socio-economic development of the regions along the road, benefitting nearly two million people, AfDB indicates.
Substantial economic benefits are expected for the areas along the road. The road will open up new markets for agri-businesses and the fishing industry.
“Lower transport will ensure that a greater share of the price of exported goods accrues to producers thereby increasing incomes and reducing poverty,” said Amadou Oumarou, Director of the Transport and Information and Communications Technology (ITC) Department at the AfDB.
In 2014 Tanzania became the largest export destination of Kenyan goods within East Africa. Kenya’s total exports to Tanzania in 2011 were valued at USD 488, while Kenya’s imports from Tanzania were valued at USD 185.4 million.