PUBLISHED ON November 12th, 2014

AfdB gives sh239m for upgrade of Tanzania’s Central Corridor

The plan to upgrade Tanzania’s central corridor got into high gear last week after the African Development Bank (AfDB) committed Sh239 million ($2.6 million) to finance feasibility studies and design.

The grant, which was negotiated under the Nepad-Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility, marks a fresh turn in the long-running efforts to lift the status of the transport corridor that runs from the Port of Dar es Salaam to Rwanda and Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tonia Kandiero, AfDB’s resident representative for Tanzania, signed a letter of agreement on behalf of the bank, while EAC secretary general Richard Sezibera represented the region. In a statement released on Friday, the officials said the grant will pay consultants undertaking feasibility studies, detailed engineering designs, environmental and social impact assessment.

The money will also finance preparation of bidding documents for the rehabilitation of the road sections joining Rusumo to Lusahunga and Nyakanazi to Manyovu via Kasulu in Tanzania; Kayonza to Kigali in Rwanda; and Rumonge to Bujumbura via Rutunga in Burundi. The main focus of the Central Corridor, has been Tanzania’s economy due to the limited amount of goods going in and out of Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The upgrading of the Central Corridor is set to boost its appeal among traders from landlocked states since it is shorter a course to Rwanda and Burundi than the Northern Corridor that runs through Kenya and Uganda.

An improved Central Corridor would make use of the Dar port attractive to traders from Rwanda and Burundi. Though a welcome alternative, the upgrade is likely to upset Kenya Ports Authority’s bid to attract more traders from the two landlocked countries to the Mombasa port.

Kenya has also been counting on increased trade volumes from Rwanda and Burundi as it begins work on its second seaport in Lamu. However, the Northern corridor still enjoys sustained growth due to established infrastructure like roads and a bigger port.

Source: Business Daily

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