AfDB approves US$229m loan for strategic road project in Uganda

The African Development Bank (AfDB) this week approved a US$229.5-million sovereign loan to Uganda to finance its road corridor expressway project.

The loan facility will finance infrastructure development, project implementation support and improvement activities along the corridor.

The AfDB noted that over 2 000 direct and indirect jobs would be created during the construction and operational phases of the road project. When completed, the expressway is projected to boost economic productivity, competitiveness, regional trade and integration.

The project is scheduled to be managed over the next 30 years under a concession-based public-private partnership arrangement and has a human capital development component focused on skills development in Uganda and East Africa.

According to AfDB chief communications officer, Chawki Chahed, the 95-kilometre Kampala-Jinja Expressway project is expected not only to reinforce the country’s position as a regional transit hub, but also to alleviate congestion on the road and around the nation’s capital, Kampala.

A 2017 study conducted by the Uganda National Roads Authority found that there were over 1 000 vehicles per hour per lane on the corridor with consistent breakdowns of traffic flows.

“The expressway is located along Uganda’s northern corridor, a strategic route within the East African Community, linking Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan with Kenya’s Mombasa port,” Chahed said. “It is easily the most important route on the national road network, taking 30% of international traffic to Burundi, 60% to Rwanda and almost 100% to Uganda. It also carriers over 90% of Uganda’s imports and exports.”

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