New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: China Helping Uganda Improve Road Network

Economic experts argue that Uganda's poor road network is one of the major bottlenecks to unlocking Uganda's economic potential.

Experts said if this poor road infrastructure is addressed, Uganda's economic potential, owing to its geographical centrality on the Africancontinent, can be unlocked, boostingboth intra-regional trade and domestic trade.

China, like elsewhere on the continent is helping Uganda to unlock this potential.

"According to a Chinese saying, people who want to be rich should build a road first. Chinese companies are playing an important role in the infrastructure development of Uganda," Zhao Yali, Chinese ambassador to Uganda, said.

In June this year, the Asian country delivered the first batch of road equipment to the Ugandan government as part of a 40-year soft loan of about $106m to boost the country's road transport.

While receiving the equipment that will be distributed to the various local governments in the country, President Yoweri Museveni said the equipment will help in the construction of major roads.

The equipment included 159 graders, 257 tipper trucks, 12 wheel loaders, six dozers, seven excavators and two low loaders.

Construction of the $350m Kampala-Entebbe Expressway is expected to start soon as the Government, the contractor China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and other stakeholders are going through the final procedural stages.

The funds to construct the 37km road are from a preferential loan from China Export and Import Bank.

The road will link Kampala to Entebbe International Airport. "The main road is about 37 km and the spur road from Kajansi to Munyonyo is about 13km. The road is a standard expressway," said Zhang Weidong, the project manager. Construction of the road will take five years.

"This road will play a very important role in Uganda's development particularly in tourism and will ease traffic pressure," said Zhao.

Another major road linking Fort Portal to Ntoroko, Bundibugyo and then eastern DRC is being upgraded by a Chinese construction firm - Chongqing International Construction Corporation.

Copyright © 2012 New Vision. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.