Five transport infrastructure projects due to start in East Africa

Transportation is a continuous concern for business people on the continent, who have to suffer high transport costs, delays or sacrifice travel security due to inadequate infrastructure. However, as the continent starts to see more and more investment coming in, it’s beginning to undertake a number of development projects aimed at improving its transportation facilities and services.

The construction of a second container terminal in Mombasa port is due to start by the end of the month.

There are a number of these developments in East African countries, particularly in Tanzania and Kenya, where millions are being directed to improving roads, railways, airports and ports. Here are five development plans in East Africa that are due to start soon and boost overall transportation in the region.

1. Construction of Kenya-Tanzania highway

The construction of a highway linking Kenya and Tanzania is said to increase the efficiency and speed of trade and transport between the two neighbouring countries. The African Development Bank (AfDB) stated earlier this month that it will fund US$112 million for the development of the Mwatate-Taveta-Arusha Road with the Kenyan government funding $12 million for the dual carriage road. The construction of the highway is scheduled to start in mid 2013 and will take an estimated three years to complete.

2. Kigali International Airport expansion

The upgrading of the Kigali International Airport in Rwanda will reportedly start before the end of the year. The expansion, calculated at around $24 million, will accommodate for the rise of the number of airlines wanting to use the airport and the increase in passenger traffic that has been growing at an annual rate of 15%.

Projects at other airports in Rwanda are presently in progress too. This includes the construction of the Bugesera International Airport, which is set to replace the Kigali International Airport as Rwanda’s largest international airport when completed.

3. Second container terminal construction at Mombasa port

The Kenya Ports Authority has scheduled the construction of a second container terminal at Mombasa port to start by end of November. The roughly $327 million project is an effort to improve the port’s handling capacity. A railway line and access roads will also be constructed to enhance the transportation of cargo from the port. The Japan International Co-operation Agency has helped fund the project with a loan of just under $304 million.

4. Mugumu Airport to become an international airport

Tanzania’s deputy minister for transport, Dr Charles Tizeba, has said that funds have been secured for the expansion of the Mugumu Airport to enhance the experience of the more than 90,000 tourists who visit the Serengeti National Park each year. The construction plans are due to start in April next year which, according to Tizeba, will ultimately convert Mugumu Airport into an international airport.

The project is part of an extensive plan to revitalise Tanzania’s transport infrastructure, which includes renovating 20 airports, upgrading rail services and the construction of a number of new ports.

5. The Entebbe-Kampala express highway to start construction soon

A new highway to link the town of Entebbe with Uganda’s capital city Kampala is due to start as soon as compensation is made to those who will be affected by the construction of the 51.4km toll road. Construction, which is estimated to start in December, will cost roughly $476 million with the Exim Bank of China providing a loan of $350 million. The remainder will be funded by the Government of Uganda and, once started, is expected to be completed in four years. The highway will begin at Uganda’s largest and busiest airport, Entebbe International Airport.