The East African Community will next month begin talks with the African Development Bank (AfDB) over $500 million credit for the construction of Malindi–Bagamoyo highway.
“The estimated project cost is $500 million. The AfDB has indicated that the project will be included in the funding programme commencing 2016,” EAC Principal Civil Engineer, Hosea Nyangweso told The EastAfrican.
It is expected that construction of the 460km highway will start in 2017 to be completed over a period of 36 months.
The EAC and the AfDB agreed on a grant of $5.5 million that covered the feasibility studies and detailed designs for the highway and for the Arusha-Voi road project.
Malindi-Bagamoyo is one of the priority multinational roads spearheaded by the Community to boost cross-border-trade, Mr Nyangweso said.
The road has not been without challenges. Among these were the full re-design of the whole of the Tanzanian section of the project and failure to resolve environmental issues around the Saadani National Park in Tanzania, which resulted in an additional design loop of almost 80km around the park. Changes in scope of the assignment for the Kenyan section to include grade separation at major intersections in Mombasa and Mtwapa added to the delay.
The road is expected to boost regional integration, cross border trade and tourism as it will open up investment opportunities. It will also improve road transport between Kenya and Tanzania coastlines, particularly between Mombasa and Bagamoyo.
The road will ease cargo movement from both Mombasa and Tanga ports to the landlocked countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.