East African Community (EAC) is finalising plans for the transnational highway, which measures 450 kilometre-long, and expected to cost 600 million US dollars (over 1.2tri/-).The highway moves from Malindi, through Mombasa and Lunga Lunga on the Kenyan side, before crossing into Tanzania (Tanga), through Pangani and Saadani to Bagamoyo.
The project was the centre of deliberations between EAC Secretary General, Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko and Executive Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) over the weekend when the highpowered delegation of 10 directors paid a courtesy call at EAC Secretariat here.
During their mission to EAC headquarters, AfDB directors also discussed the bank’s collaboration with the regional block since the signing of a cooperation agreement in 1998. The agreement has resulted in the funding of several regional projects by the bank, mainly in the transport and energy sectors.
The AfDB had agreed to fund the Malindi-Mombasa- Tanga to Bagamoyo Highway and that it would allocate the first tranche of money to the construction, which is expected to start anytime from now and take three years to completion.
The road project will entail the rehabilitation of the 250- kilometre Malindi-Lunga Lunga Road and upgrading to bitumen standard the 175-kilometre stretch that links Tanga to Bagamoyo.
The coastline road is expected to boost regional integration, cross-border trade, tourism, and socio-economic development, as well as improve road transport infrastructure along the Kenya and Tanzania coastlines, particularly between Mombasa and Bagamoyo.
Apart from the proposed Malindi-Bagamoyo road, AfDB also funded the Arusha-Namanga- Athi River road whose construction was completed in 2012 and the ongoing Arusha – Holili and Taveta – Voi road, which is so far completed on the Kenyan side and construction continues on the Tanzanian side.