African Development Bank Principal Transport Engineer Zerfu Mammo told journalists in Nairobi that the Mwatate-Taveta-Arusha Road will help accelerate trade between the two neighbours. “AfDB will provide funding to the tune of 112 million U.S. dollars for the 98 kilometer portion on the Kenya side,” Mammo said.
According to Mammo, the construction is scheduled to start midway through next year and should take around three years to complete.
“We will conduct a baseline survey in order to monitor the economics of the road,” he said. According to the bank, the cost of inland transport is expensive in Africa when compared to other continents. “We are committed to fund projects that will promote regional integration of the continent,” he said.
AfDB has extended financial assistance of up to 3 billion dollars since it commenced operations in Kenya in 1967. Speaking during the launch of the Thika highway in Nairobi on Friday, AfDB President Donald Kaberuka said that this ultramodern superhighway will strongly contribute to the achievement of inclusive growth in the region by reducing the cost of doing business in Kenya. “This road plays a critical role at several levels. It is first an important commercial and transport corridor. It is also part of the Great North Trans-African Highway (Cape Town to Cairo),” said Kaberuka.
Kaberuka reaffirmed the AfDB’s strong commitment to infrastructure development on the continent. “Infrastructure promotes trade and creates a conducive environment for business,” he added. Consequently, pollution resulting from vehicle emissions has considerably fallen.