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The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved loans and grant of US$322.35mn for Burundi and Tanzania to finance the upgrade of the Rumonge-Gitaza (45 km) and Kabingo-Kasulu-Manyovu (260 km) roads

17012646389 7952ddb1df zThis multinational road will help open up rural areas, reduce vehicle operating costs and improve road safety. (Image source: dconvertini/Flickr

The project aims to strengthen regional integration and trade in the East African community, in particular between Tanzania and Burundi, through improved cross-border transport, the bank stated.

It is part of the East African roads network connecting the Port of Dar es Salaam with the regional markets in Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The project, which will be completed in 2023, comprises several phases, including the upgrading from gravel to bitumen standard of Kabingo-Kasulu-Manyovu (260 km) in Tanzania and rehabilitation of Rumonge-Gitaza (45 km) paved road section in Burundi.

It involves the construction and operationalisation of a one-stop border post between Tanzania and Burundi at Manyovu/Mugina border; rural/urban roads rehabilitation, health centres and schools, community water sources, and road safety, institutional support and capacity building of actors involved, including compensation and resettlement of people affected by the project.

The project is also in line with the national development plans of Burundi and Tanzania, in particular, the sectoral transport policies in both countries.

Once completed, this multinational road will help open up rural areas, reduce vehicle operating costs and improve road safety. It will improve access to socio-economic and health infrastructure located along roads, particularly in Burundi’s Rumonge province and Tanzania’s Kigoma region.

Gabriel Negatu, director general of the bank group’s East Africa regional development and business delivery office, said, “The project will fundamentally enhance the mobility of goods and services for the people in Burundi and Tanzania.”

“The improved transport will bring additional benefits for the two neighbouring countries, including empowering women and youth for whom new market centres will be opened and other economic activities will increase.”

The project is in line with the objectives of the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy (2013 - 2022), which focuses on assisting its regional member countries to achieve more inclusive and greener growth via the Bank’s High5 priorities, including integrating Africa and improving the lives of the people of Africa.

It is also consistent with the Bank’s country strategy papers for both countries, which have infrastructure development as an important pillar.

The project is one of the priorities in the Bank’s East African Regional Integration Strategy Paper (2018-2022).