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East African Community road links

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The Eat African Community (EAC) with assistance from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are planning and implementing rod links between member states.


Already under construction is the 243 kilometre road from Arusha through Namanga to Athi River at a cost of $200 million. The construction is being carried out by two Chinese contractors, China National Overseas Engineering Corporation for the Kenyan section and Chinese Geo Company for Arusha to Namanga road.


A feasibility study is being carried out by JICA on a new highway to link Arusha via Moshi and Taveta to Voi town. The road which passes through Holili Border town would be upgraded to a four lane modern highway between Arusha and Moshi to stimulate trade and investments. The study is due to be completed in October this year.


The EAC Secretary General, Mr Juma Mwapachu, said after receiving credentials of the Japanese ambassador to Tanzania Mr Hiroshi Nakagawa, who will also be accredited to EAC, that preliminary design would be ready in two months. He noted that Arusha-Moshi-Holili-Taveta-Voi road was one of the major road projects to receive priority in EAC within the framework of regional integration.


“It will serve as an important link but now is in a very poor state,” Ambassador Mwapachu told the envoy and his delegation at the EAC headquarters.


Another major road project is planned between Tanzania and Kenya within the framework of the EAC and would directly link ports and coastal towns of the two countries. The proposed road would link Dar es Salaam and Tanga through Bagamoyo and Pangani and extend all the way to Malindi via Mombasa.


Feasibility studies on the proposed highway are still in preliminary stages, the community boss said, noting that its implementation would unlock the potentials of the EA coast and ports for business.


Mr Mwapachu further added that the road upgrading projects would go hand in hand with the setting up of One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) within the region. Namanga town on the Tanzania-Kenya border is expected to be the largest of such posts followed by Malaba between Kenya and Uganda and Gatuma on the Rwanda-Uganda border.


Similar facilities are planned for Horohoro and Sirari also on the Tanzania-Kenya border. Rusumo (Tanzania –Rwanda) Mtukula (Tanzania-Rwanda) and elsewhere.


The OSBPs are being set up with financial help from Japan. For Rusumo, it would involve reconstruction of a bridge linking the two countries across the Kagra river. Mr Nakagawa said his country was keen to support EAC member countries upgrade transport infrastructure so as to enhance regional integration through cross border trade.


“Facilitating regional transport through a corridor-based approach   such as the SOBPs is among the primary areas of our commitments,” he said.
The Infrastructure upgrading support will include harmonization of various inter-regional standards and rules and development of a legal framework to operationalise OSBPs.  

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