The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved Sh23 billion loan (€209 million) to fund the expansion of a highway that links major economic hubs in Kenya.
According to a press statement by the AfDB, the approval was granted on September 26 during a meeting at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan.
The project is set to cost nearly Sh30 billion (€257.68 million) of which 69 per cent will be financed by the Bank Group, while 12 percent will come from the Africa Growing Together Fund, set up by the Bank and the People’s Bank of China in 2014.
The remaining 19 percent will be financed by the Kenyan government.
The five-year project will convert the 84km Kenol–Sagana–Marua Road in Central and Eastern Kenya into a dual carriageway.
The project is due for completion in 2025.
The current Kenol–Sagana–Marua Road is situated along the “Great North Road”, which forms part of the 800km stretch between Nairobi and Moyale and runs across the five counties of Muranga, Kirinyaga, Machakos, Embu and Nyeri.
Kenol–Sagana–Marua Road is also part of the Trans-Africa Highway, commonly known as the Cape to Cairo route.
According to the project report, about 1.15 million people will benefit from the upgraded highway.
The beneficiaries include farmers, manufacturers and traders, who will save time and money on transportation of their goods.
“Building a 21st century road must also take into account climate change, which often leads to road runoff, flooding and erosion. In order to counter these phenomena, trees will be planted in the surrounding area,” read the statement.
The project is part of broader government efforts to improve the country’s infrastructure, including the construction of 1,304 km of new roads in recent years.
The bank’s present portfolio in Kenya consists of 38 operations, totaling around US$3.3 billion.