The realization of a super highway connecting Uganda and Kenya has taken a significant step forward with the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) approval of a $1.4 million grant through its New Partnership for Africa’s Development and Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF). The grant is allocated to the East African Community for the feasibility study of the multinational expressway.
The proposed expressway is designed to link the two countries, passing through Kisumu, Kisian, Busitema, and Busia, contributing to the enhancement of the Northern Corridor that spans from Mombasa in Kenya to Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. Presently, the existing road system comprises two-lane single-carriageway bitumen sections, experiencing significant congestion due to the rising volumes of both cargo and passenger traffic, resulting in delays and increased business costs.
The feasibility study aims to assess the economic viability of upgrading the current multinational road sections to expressway standards. According to the East African Community’s Deputy Secretary General in charge of Infrastructure, Andrea Aguer Ariik Malueth, the project is expected to “revolutionize” the movement of goods and services between Nairobi and Kampala, with the potential to extend beyond.
Malueth emphasized that the feasibility study will incorporate digital technology and consider the social and economic needs of the East African Community’s citizens, transforming the expressway into a smart corridor.
Acknowledging that inadequate preparation often hampers project success, Malueth stated that NEPAD-IPPF grants have facilitated the preparation of high-quality and bankable regional infrastructure projects, attracting both public and private sector financing. Over the past two decades, the East African Community has witnessed the completion of four multinational roads, with several others undergoing feasibility studies and detailed designs.
Epifanio Carvarlho de Melo, the AfDB Acting Manager for Infrastructure and Partnerships Division, affirmed the bank’s commitment to collaborating with the East African Community to ensure the success of transformative projects that will impact the region’s economy positively. The goal now is to conduct feasibility studies on the Uganda-Kenya expressway, a critical link within the Northern Corridor and one of the eight roads comprising the Trans Africa Highways.