The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved loans of about € 209 million to finance the expansion of a highway linking Kenya’s major economic centers. The road is part of the Trans-Africa Highway, commonly known as the Cape to Cairo route. The work should be completed by 2025.
According to a project report, about 1.15 million people will benefit from the improved road. 44% of beneficiaries are probably women. Beneficiaries include producers, manufacturers, and traders who will save time and money by improving access to the northern main corridor.
The new road should increase traffic flow between the port city of Mombasa and major centers such as Nairobi. It should also facilitate transport between Nairobi and the Mount Kenya region to Ethiopia.
The current Kenol – Sagana – Marua road is situated along the Great North Road, which is part of the 800 km between Nairobi and Moyale and runs through the five municipalities of Muranga, Kirinyaga, Machakos, Embu, and Nyeri.
Construction must take into account climate change and its consequences such as runoff, flooding, and erosion. To combat these phenomena, trees will be planted in the surrounding area. The total cost of the project is 257.68 million euros, of which 178.02 million (69%) will be financed by the Bank Group, while 12% will come from Africa Growing Together Fund, set up by AfDB and People’s Bank of China in 2014. The remaining 19% will be funded by the Kenyan government.
Approval was granted on September 26 during a meeting at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan.
The project is part of government efforts to improve the country’s infrastructure, including the construction of 1,304 km of new roads in recent years. AfDB’s current portfolio in Kenya consists of 38 operations totaling about $ 3.3 billion.