Tanzania and Kenya governments have unveiled the Arusha-Holili in Tanzania and Taveta-Voi road project. The project, which is expected to be completed by December 2018, is jointly financed by the Governments of Kenya and Tanzania. It will be constructed at a cost of KES8.5bn. The Africa Trade Fund has extended a USD 0.74-million grant for a small component for trade facilitation at the Namanga border, bringing to USD 262.2 million the total cost of the project. The project is classified as one of the missing links roads aimed at enhancing the East Africa Integration objectives.
This project is expected to cut transport costs due to the reduced distance. Also, it will be cheaper for Eastern Africa states to export goods through the Mombasa port using this road. Besides, alternative routes will be opened between Kenya and Tanzania easing pressure on the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway, which is mainly used by heavy commercial vehicles transporting goods along the corridor through the Namanga One Stop Border crossing.
The Arusha-Holili/Taveta-Voi Road is a transport corridor of the East African Region that links the Northern Corridor at Voi to the Central Corridor across the common border at Holili/Taveta through Arusha, Babati to Dodoma and Singida. The project will comprise of civil works for the construction of the Arusha Bypass (42.4 km) and dualling the Sakina-Tengeru section (14.1 km) as well as the construction of two roadside amenities at Tengeru, one on either side of the dual carriageway in Tanzania. It will also involve the upgrading of the Taveta-Mwatate portion (89 km) and construction of the Taveta Bypass (12 km) and two roadside amenities, one each at Bura and Maktau along the Mwatate-Taveta Road in Kenya.
Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) is the project implementer. This project will also contribute greatly to the economic growth of Taita Taveta County due to huge deposits of titanium, copper, iron ore, manganese and limestone. With construction of this road, accessibility to remote areas will be enhanced.
African Development Bank (AfDB) identified this road in the East African Regional Integration Strategy Paper (RISP 2011-2015) and the East African Transport Strategy and Regional Road Sector Development Programme of November 2011 as a priority for intervention.