African bank pays for Kenya-Uganda road up-grade
August 20, 2018—Work officially began over the weekend on upgrading the Kapchorwa-Suam road, linking the Ugandan eastern highland town to the border post with Kenya costing just over $100 million. Transportation of people and goods has been adversely affected by the poor condition of the present 73 kilometre road until the African Development Bank AfDB) Group offered to pay for the upgrade.
“We have given you peace, electricity, water, good infrastructure and a big common market. Use this opportunity to improve trading and the income in your families,” President Yoweri Museveni when flagging off the works alongside Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto.
A total of $105.76 million is going to spent on the project with the money coming from the AfDB, African Development Fund (ADF) and counterpart funding provided by the two governments. Construction will take three years.
Museveni said in the past, the Sabiny people could not economically develop due to insecurity and cross border cattle rustling which forced people to desert the area. However the NRM government has helped to reverse the situation.
Ruto said the road will continue across the border to become the Suam-Kitale road project ending up at Eldoret, a leading agriculture hub in the Kenya highlands. He thanked President Museveni for his insight and leadership in efforts to strengthen the East African Community. “This road will facilitate trade between Kenya and Uganda. We are one community. The people of this community are grandchildren of the people of Kenya. By connecting the two communities, both Uganda and Kenya will both benefit from this development,” Ruto said.
Earlier Ruto said, “Nationalism without pan-Africanism is not beneficial. We live in a world that is full of challenges, especially youth unemployment and poverty. All these must be tackled head on by creating opportunities that would drive them out. And Commerce is the way to make it right.”
Kapchorwa is Uganda’s major wheat growing region, but logistics has often prevented faster development of other areas of agriculture production. During 2017 total Ugandan exports to Kenya, mostly made up of grains reached $500 million. Latest data from the Central Bank of Kenya shows that Uganda has for the first time exported more goods to Kenya than it imported in the five months leading to May due to increased maize exports.