Tanzania launched the 42.4 km EAC Arusha Bypass that is part of the multinational Arusha-Holili/Taveta-Voi road that links Northern Tanzania to the Kenyan port city of Mombasa.
The Arusha bypass was constructed to decongest traffic in Arusha and Moshi towns in addition to promoting intra-regional trade.
Phase II involves: dualling from Tengeru to USA River (10.1km) part of the Moshi urban roads (8.4km); new Kikavu bridge (560m long) and 4km approach roads (realignment of the road).
The financing for Phase II has been entered between the Government of Japan Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Republic of Tanzania with a financing agreement (soft loan) of 24.31 Million Yen.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan said her government was investing heavily in infrastructure including water transport on Lake Victoria by building ships and rehabilitating ports on the lake to facilitate the movement of people and goods in the region.
Speaking at the event, African Development Bank (AfDB) Director General for East Africa, Ms. Nnenna Lily Nwabufo, disclosed that AfDB had spent US$217 million on the Arusha-Holili/Taveta-Voi road with US$112 million going to Tanzania and US$105 million to Kenya, adding that the two governments also made contributions to the project.
Ms. Nwabufo said that the road was fully designed in line with one of the bank’s five priorities, that is, to integrate Africa and improve the standards of living of people on the continent.
Ms. Nwabufo said that the project had facilitated trade between Kenya and Tanzania in addition to spurring transit trade with neighbouring countries, adding that the transit time at the Holili/Taveta One Stop Border Post has reduced from one day to less than two hours due to the streamlining of the border procedures.
In her remarks, the outgoing Chairperson of the Council of Ministers, Ms. Betty Maina, said that Africa requires more than US$170 billion to close the huge infrastructure gap between it and other continents.
In his remarks, EAC Secretary General Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki said, “These investments have yielded impressive results; for instance, the transit time from Mombasa Port to Kigali through Uganda has reduced from 18 days in 2014 to an average of 5 days in 2021. Similarly, from Dar es Salaam Port to Kigali and Bujumbura has reduced from 22 days in 2014 to an average of 3 to 4 days in 2021; with a resultant cost reduction per consignment from US$3,500 in 2014 to US$2,200 in 2021.”
Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Friday launched the road accompanied by President Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and President Evariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi).
Other leaders present were Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente and his DRC counterpart Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge represented President Paul Kagame and President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, respectively. South Sudan’s Presidential Affairs Minister represented President Salva Kiir Mayardit.