Malawi’s President opens John Chilembwe Highway, a Bank-financed project
Malawi President Peter Mutharika officially opened the 60-kilometre John Chilembwe Highway, formerly the Blantyre-Zomba road, on January 23, 2015, at Kachere Township in Blantyre. The project was financed by the African Development Bank Group, through an African Development Fund loan of approximately US $38 million to the Government of Malawi. Construction on the road began in March 2012 and was completed in December 2014.
The key objective for rehabilitating the road was to reduce transportation costs and to improve the overall efficiency in the conveyance of freight and people along the north-south road corridor in Malawi. In addition to the road rehabilitation works, the project also involved of the education of communities residing along the Blantyre-Zomba road on aspects of road safety, and prevention and management of HIV and AIDS.
Speaking at the ceremony, the President stressed the important role a good road network plays in sustaining economic development and how poor roads inhibit business growth, adding that the Government considers good infrastructure a tool for attracting investors by reducing the cost of doing business.
Mutharika appealed to road users and other stakeholders to take ownership of the road, to use it appropriately, and take good care of the infrastructure and supporting facilities. The President also thanked the African Development Bank for providing the resources for financing the rehabilitation of the road.
The Minister of Transport and Public Works, Francis Kasaila, and the African Development Bank Resident Representative in Malawi, Andrew Mwaba, also made statements at the ceremony.