Tunis, Tunisia, 22 May 2009 – The African Development Bank Group will help Malawi to improve its road networks with a loan of 22.98 million Units of Account (UA *), about US$ 34.42 million and a grant of UA 1.124 million (US$ 1.68 million) to, respectively, finance the rehabilitation of the Blantyre-Zomba trunk road and a feasibility and detailed engineering design of the country’s Ntcheu-Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza road link.
Designed to improve transport services, the project will promote economic growth and poverty reduction through a coordinated transport environment that fosters safe and competitive operation of commercially viable, financially sustainable and environmentally friendly transport services.
The Bank’s intervention is consistent with Malawi’s plan to improve its transportation services. The Blantyre-Zomba road is part of Route 29 of the SADC Regional Trunk Road Network (RTRN) linking southern Malawi to the northern part of the country and further north to the border with Tanzania. As such, the road has been identified by the Malawian government as first on the priority list of roads for rehabilitation under the Road Sector Programme (RSP 2007-2011), to improve the quality of transport services for easy access.
The Ntcheu-Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza road will serve the south-western part of the country renowned for its agricultural potential. The feasibility study will determine the most economic option for upgrading the road, detailed engineering design and preparation of bidding documents.
The 60-km road traverses the districts of Blantyre, Chiradzulu and Zomba. The Project’s beneficiaries include inhabitants of the three districts, communities along the road, business operators, traders and commuters. Outcomes include increased economic activities due to improved transport services with reductions in transport costs, travel time and improved road safety and, ultimately, improve the living standards of the communities.
Notable benefits will include increased economic activities due to improved transport services with reductions in the cost of transport, travel time and improved road safety. The implemented projects will ultimately improve the living standards of the communities in the zone. There will be additional benefits from the project through the provision of jobs during construction and sub-contracts for supply of goods and services. The communities along the road will also benefit from HIV/AIDS/STI and road safety awareness campaigns.
The project, estimated at UA 26.713 million, will be implemented over a five-year period. The African Development Fund (ADF) loan and grant will cover 90% and 95% of the costs, respectively.