Malawi has secured a $36.7-million concessional loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the rehabilitation of a 55 km road that connects the districts of Ntcheu and Machinga, in the central and Machinga and eastern regions of the country respectively.
The Nsipe road rehabilitation project will be implemented as part of the Nacala Road Corridor Development Project, which involves the rehabilitation of selected roads in Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique to ensure easy access to the Mozambican seaport of Nacala.
AfDB acting director-general for Southern Africa Josephine Ngure says the project will benefit several sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing and mining.
The multinational Nacala Road Corridor Development Project aims to improve transport services along the Nacala Road Corridor and provide a cheaper alternative seaport for Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The ongoing fifth phase of the Nacala Road Corridor Development Project, which will run from 2019 to 2024, will also involve the construction of a one-stop border post between Malawi and Mozambique at Chiponde.
The catchment area of the Nacala Road Corridor extends from Lusaka, in Zambia, to Malawi and northern Mozambique.
The beneficiaries include an estimated population of over two-million people who use the Nacala Road Corridor for personal travel and economic activities.
Other beneficiaries include import and export firms in
Malawi, Zambia and northern Mozambique, as well as tourists who use the corridor to reach destinations in the three countries.
Roads, which handle more than 70% of internal freight traffic and 99% of passenger traffic, are Malawi’s most dominant mode of transport.
Road transport is also important for Malawi’s trade with other countries, handling more than 90% of freight and passenger traffic.
Malawi’s road network comprises 15 451 km of roads, about 26% of which are paved, with the remainder having an earth or gravel surface.
EDITED BY: MARTIN ZHUWAKINYU
CREAMER MEDIA SENIOR DEPUTY EDITOR