The East African Community is finalising plans for a transnational highway to link the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts.
The 460km highway, expected to cost $600 million, will start in Malindi, pass through Mombasa and Lunga Lunga on the Kenyan side, across to Tanga, then on through Pangani and Saadani to Bagamoyo in northeastern Tanzania.
The road is hoped to increase regional trade by linking the port of Mombasa in Kenya to northeastern Tanzania.
The EAC’s principal civil engineer Hosea Nyangweso said the highway will unlock the potential of tourism, trade and shipping in the two countries.
“Designs for the road are in the final stages,” Mr Nyangweso told The EastAfrican.
He said the African Development Bank had agreed to fund the project and from early next year, it would allocate the first tranche of money. The construction is expected to take three years, and will start in early 2016.
The road is expected to boost regional integration, cross-border trade, tourism, and socio-economic development.
It will also improve road transport infrastructure along the Kenya and Tanzania coastlines, particularly between Mombasa and Bagamoyo.
The CEO of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (Tato), Sirili Akko, welcomed the project, saying the road offers holidaymakers a hassle-free trip to both coastlines.
“The coastline from Mombasa to Tanga and Dar es Salaam will eventually become a single tourism destination that tour operators could promote as an East African beach destination,” Mr Akko said.
Tanga, located on Tanzania’s northern coast close to the Kenyan border, is one of the oldest settlements along the East African coast.