KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
The government will expand a major road linking
Uganda with Kenya through the Kapchorwa - Bukwo - Suam border,
after signing a 94.52 million U.S. dollars (343 billion Uganda
Shillings) loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The road is part of
a multinational project involving Uganda and Kenya dubbed the Kapchorwa-Suam-Kitale and Eldoret Bypass Roads Project.
Officials said on
Friday the construction of the 105.76 million dollars road is
expected to last four years, and will be partly financed through
government counterpart funds.
“The road is
expected to open trade through the eastern part of the country,
by linking us to Kenya. Government will therefore provide 11.24
million U.S. dollars to ensure that the project is completed on
time, since this is a transformative project that will
contribute to social economic development and poverty reduction
in eastern Uganda and western Kenya,” said the state minister of
finance for investment, Evelyn Anite.
According to the
AfDB officials, the stretch from Kapchorwa to Kitale measures
118 kilometers, and once completed, will provide an all-weather
access for citizens, farmers and traders.
Anite said the
project will also include construction of a one-stop border post
at Suam to facilitate trade between the two countries, travelers
and transport operators.
“Once completed in
2021, the project will also contribute to improving the living
standards of the 1.4 million people in the project zone of
influence,” Anite said.
The road will boost
trade in the productive sub regions of Bugisu, Karamoja and
Sebei known for the production of maize, barley, sorghum and
coffee, among others, she added.
In the rainy season,
the current gravel road often gets flooded and denies access to
goods that could cross from Uganda to Kenya.
The AfDB director
general, Gabriel Negatu said upgrading the road will reduce
travel time between the two countries, and contribute to poverty
reduction by improving household incomes and wellbeing through
increased access to markets and social services.
Negatu said the
project is also in line with the EAC regional integration
agenda, and is in line with the AfDB’s objective to accelerate
Africa’s transformation through promoting regional integration
and improving people’s living standards.
He said the bank
also aims to increase agricultural production on the continent
through access to markets and promoting industrialization.
“The bank will
bring, throughout the project cycle, engineering, environmental
and economic expertise and experience to realize the objectives
and benefits of the project,” he said.
Works and transport
minister, Monica Ntege said this will provide access for the
supply of farm inputs and distribution of produce to major