China’s official state-run press agency Xinhua recently reported that the construction of the coastal highway linking the towns of Malindi in Kenya to Bagamoyo in Tanzania will begin in early 2019, according to an official of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Gabriel Negatu, Director General of the East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office of AfDB, told Xinhua that transnational highway is a priority because it will boost inter-regional trade.
The 460 km road consists of 250 km on Kenya’s side and the rest on the Tanzanian portion and is expected to improve cross-border trade, tourism, socio-economic development and promote regional integration.
The highway is also expected to ease the movement of traffic from both Mombasa and Tanga ports, destined to neighboring land-locked countries Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and DR Congo.
The upgrade of the current road to class II bitumen and widening to double carriageway will be jointly funded by the East African Community (EAC) and AfDB.
The construction cost is budgeted at USD 751.3 million, with 70% borrowed from the AfDB, and each country funding 30% of the work in its territory.
The project experience some delays to kickoff for the past two years, mostly attributed to changes in road design from single carriageway to double carriageway, along a section of the highway.
AfDB estimates that it will take 36 months to complete the upgrade.