ADF Approves USD 36m Burundi Road Improvement Grant

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Tunis, 27 September 2010 – The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF), on 27 September 2010 approved UA 24.10 million* (approximately USD36 million) to improve the road between Ngozi and Nyangungu in the northern part of Burundi.

The ADF is the concessionary or ‘soft loan’ arm of the African Development Bank Group
The Ngozi-Nyangungu highway development represents Phase 1 of the larger Gitega-Nyangugu-Ngozi road development project.  This road forms part of Burundi’s primary network and connects the country’s second and third largest cities.  It also constitutes a key link for the development of trade between the north and south, as well as an opportunity to boost trade with neighbouring Rwanda due to Ngozi’s closeness to the border.

The project design is the result of an update on detailed studies conducted in 2009 to review a difficult traffic situation in an area of high population density.

The ADF and the Burundi government have agreed to implement the project in phases to take into account the financial resources available.  The first phase between Nyangungu and Ngozi will tackle the most degraded part of the route where year-round accessibility is not always possible.

In addition to developing and asphalting this 30-kilometre section of road, the grant will also finance the rehabilitation of 80 kilometres of feeder roads and the development of various socio-economic infrastructure and market amenities in the locality.

The project impact area has an estimated population of 775,000, or approximately 10% of Burundi’s total population.  The project aims to ease the movement of people and goods along the Gitega-Nyangungu-Ngozi road, and to improve the living conditions of the local population.

In addition to promoting trade within the country and with Rwanda, the improved road and feeder network is expected to help reduce Burundi’s level of poverty through better access to farming areas and easier transportation of produce to local markets.

The implementation of the project will run from September 2010 to July 2013.

Infrastructure development is one of the objectives of the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.  With this project, the ADF will help with the implementation of the country’s Priority Investment Programme and the attainment of the infrastructure development objective.

* 1 UA (Unit of Account) = 1.50891 USD as at 22/09/2010 

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