AfDB Approves USD67 Million Grant for Burundi Road Project

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The Boards of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group  today approved a grant of USD67.23 million (Units of Account 42 million) in funding for Phase II of the Gitega-Nyangungu-Ngozi road project in Burundi.

The new finance will be used to fund the Gitega-Nyangungu segment of the road. 

Of the total, USD51.22 million is provided from the resources of the AfDB’s Fragile States Facility (FSF) and USD 16.01 million from the African Development Fund, the Bank Group’s concessional arm.

Phase II is a follow-up of Phase I which was approved by the AfDB in September 2011.  This phase will cover the development and asphalting of the Gitega-Nyangungu segment plus the rehabilitation of 22kms of rural roads, building pedestrian bridges, creating a heavy vehicles parking lot at Gitega, together with the development of socio-economic and commercial infrastructure.  

The work will proceed from August 2011 to March 2015.  The project area extends from the centre to the north of the country and is home to an estimated 775,000 people.  Gitega and Ngozi are the country’s second and third largest towns respectively.

The project area has huge agro-pastoral and tourism potential, which has not been fully tapped due to its landlocked nature.

Following an analysis of the country’s current economic and social situation, the AfDB’s involvement is rooted in the need to support the Burundian government’s strategy to open up access to the country, particularly regions with proven economic potential.  It is also designed to help alleviate poverty, which at 67 percent is particularly high in Burundi.

The project was designed based on an update of detailed studies made in 2009, which revealed the need for investment in the road to adapt it to current demand.

The AfDB’s assistance strategy in the country also aims to support it in attaining the Burundi Vision 2025 goals, which are double-digit growth and 50 percent poverty reduction.

Accordingly, in May 2011, the AfDB approved Burundi’s eligibility for the second cycle of support under the FSF.  This project comes under the road network improvement programme, on which the productive sectors rely, and is in line with the Country Strategy Paper for 2008-2011