Construction of Sh78bn Kenya-Tanzania highway to begin 2018

Construction workers build a road in Kisumu.
Construction workers build a road in Kisumu. PHOTO/FILE
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is looking for financial partners capable of investing Sh40 billion into the construction of a highway connecting Kenya to neighbouring Tanzania.

The bank’s chief regional program officer Lawson Zankli was recently quoted by Xinhua as saying that it has already set aside Sh30 billion for the construction of the long awaited Malindi-Bagamoyo highway and that the lender is now seeking for a financial partnership to meet the budget deficit.

“We are looking for partners to bridge the remaining Sh48.5 billion required to complete the transnational highway,” Mr Zankli said.

The 445-kilometre Malindi-Bagamoyo highway begins from Malindi and moves through Mombasa and Lunga Lunga on the Kenyan side, before crossing into Tanga, Tanzania, through Pangani and Saadani to Bagamoyo.

The transnational highway project will include the rehabilitation of the 250km Malindi-Lunga Lunga Road and the upgrading to bitumen standard the 175km section that connects Tanga to Bagamoyo.

The construction of the highway is expected to kick of late next year, according to AfDB and it will be completed in 36 months.

The new road, whose environmental and social impact studies are ongoing, is hoped to boost tourism and trade along the Indian Ocean coast.

“The improved infrastructure will help in easing movement of tourists along the Kenya-Tanzania coastline,” he added.

AfDB, whose current portfolio of project in Eastern Africa totals an estimated Sh900 billion, is a key player in the regional transport infrastructure sector.

The African bank funded the construction of the Arusha-Namanga- Athi River road – which was completed in 2012, as well as the ongoing Arusha – Holili and Taveta – Voi road, which is already completed on the Kenyan side.