Malawi and AfDB Sign USD 59.5 Million Road Project Loan and Grant Agreements
Tunis, Tunisia, 21 October 2009 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the Malawi Government signed a USD 60 million (UA 38.42 million) loan and grant agreements on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 in Tunis, to enable the country improve its road network.
The two loans and one grant agreements were signed by the Bank Group’s Director in charge of infrastructure operations, Gilbert Mbesherubusa, on behalf of Operations Vice President, Bobby Pittman, and Malawi’s ambassador to Egypt, Geoffrey Mvula, at a ceremony attended by the Advisor to the Executive Director for Malawi, Hibeene Mwiinga and senior Bank staff.
The funding comprises a UA 14.32 Nacala Road Corridor (Lilongwe By-pass Road), and a UA 22.98 million for Blantyre-Zomba Road Rehabilitation Project as well as a UA 1.124 million grant for feasibility and detailed engineering design of the Ntcheu-Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza Road.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Mbesherubusa emphasized the project’s importance and urged the Government to expedite action to ensure its effective commencement, assuring that the Bank would work closely with the Government to ensure successful implementation of the projects.
“The rehabilitation of the Blantyre-Zomba Road will provide development stimulus through increased economic activities due to reduction in cost of transport, travel time and improved road safety, ultimately resulting in better living conditions for the communities in the zone of influence of the road” Mr. Mbesherubusa said.
The second road project – the 13km Lilongwe By-pass Road which is part of the Nacala Road Corridor stretching from Malawi through Mozambique to Zambia – would relieve the heavy traffic congestion in Lilongwe and reduce accidents, he added.
The third agreement concerns studies for the Ntcheu-Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza road which will determine the most cost effective option for upgrading the road in south-western Malawi, renowned for its agricultural potential.
For his part, Ambassador Geoffrey Mvula commended the Bank for its continued support towards the country’s development, and pledged the government’s commitment to utilize the funds for the intended purposes.
“Government does not take this kind gesture for granted,” he emphasized, adding; “It is my ardent hope that the Bank will continue to provide assistance to Malawi and the region for the benefit of its people.
The Funding brings the Bank Group’s total commitments in Malawi to UA 631 million in 87 operations, comprising 74 projects, 11 studies and two lines of credit.
* I UA (Units of Account) = US$ 1.56606 on 21/10/2009