- The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the government of Malawi have signed a US$ 60 million loan and grant agreements 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, on Wednesday this week, in Tunis.
The funding comprises works on the Nacala Road Corridor (Lilongwe By-pass Road), and for Blantyre-Zomba Road Rehabilitation Project as well as a grant for feasibility and detailed engineering design of the Ntcheu-Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza Road.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Mbesherubusa emphasised 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 the 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 utilise the funds for the intended purposes.
"Government does not take this kind gesture for granted," he emphasised, 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 about $984 million in 87 operations, comprising 74 projects, 11 studies and two lines of credit.
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