Africa need $170 billion to finance infrastructure

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  • That is in contrast with the developed countries which spend between 4.7 and 6.5 percent of their GDPs for the same.

Arusha. Africa needs a whopping $170 billion to finance the infrastructure projects.

The money will enable the continent to close the huge infrastructure gap between it and other continents.

Currently, the continent’s public expenditure on infrastructure development is estimated at 3.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

That is in contrast with the developed countries which spend between 4.7 and 6.5 percent of their GDPs for the same.

The East African Community (EAC) secretary general Peter Mathuki said the seven-nation bloc is wasting no time to narrow the gap.

The ongoing infrastructure projects such as the Arusha-Holili/Taveta-Voi highway and others have enhanced intermodal connectivity.

“These investments have yielded impressive results,” he said here on Friday during the opening of the Arusha ByPass constructed through the EAC initiative.

He cited the transit time from Dar es Salaam port to Kigali and Bujumbura which has been reduced to three to four days compared to 22 days in 2014.

Similarly, the transit time from Mombasa Port to Kigali through Uganda has reduced from 18 days in 2014 to an average of 5 days in 2021.

“A resultant cost reduction per consignment has gone down to $2,000 in 2021 from $3,500 in 2014 to $2,200 in 2021,” he explained.

In order to ease the flow of goods and people across the EAC borders, 13 One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) have been constructed, all of which are now operational.

Plans are underway to construct 12 additional posts under the second phase of the programme with the support of the development partners.

The OSBPs, he added, are crucial in that they have facilitated trans-boundary trade “by easing border crossing”.

The outgoing chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers Ms Betty Maina emphasized that improved connectivity would spur intra-EAC trade.

She said the completed Arusha ByPass which was constructed at the cost of Sh197 billion was a showcase for the intra-EAC roads initiative.

The 42.4 kilometre road is part of the multinational Arusha-Holili/Taveta- Voi highway that will link northern Tanzania with the Mombasa port.

The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) will spend a total of $217 million on the 240km road, with $112 million going to Tanzania and $ 105 million to Kenya.

The governments of the two countries are also making financial contributions to the project which will cost about $ 400 million.

AfDB director general for East Africa, Ms. Nnenna Lily Nwabufo said the Arusha-Holili/Taveta- Voi road was among those initiated to integrate Africa.

The project has facilitated regional trade through reduction of transit time for goods at the Holili border post from one day to less than two hours.

Road projects under implementation in Tanzania under the EAC aegis include the 400km kilometre long linking the coastal cities of Tanzania and Kenya.

The proposed Bagamoyo-Tanga-Mombasa-Malindi highway will cost 375 million Euros secured from the AfDB and the European Union (EU).

Other road projects under the initiative are being carried out in the northwest regions to link the country with Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.