Arusha — The African Development Bank (AfDB) has released $322 million for the construction of two roads to link Tanzania and Burundi.
Construction of the two transnational roads is expected to start next year, according to a senior bank official.
The funds would also go towards construction of the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) at Manyovu-Mugina on the Tanzania-Burundi border.
This was disclosed on Saturday by Gabriel Negatu, the director general of AfDB's Eastern Africa Regional Hub during the official opening of the border facility there.
The $322 million would finance the Rumonge-Gitaz and Kabingo-Kasulu-Manyovu road upgrading and the Manyovu-Mugina OSBP, he said. Separately, the bank announced it would finance the construction of the Bagamoyo- Tanga-Horohoro-Mombasa-Malindi road that straddles Tanzania and Kenya also at the cost of $322 million.
AfDB also availed $79 million out of a total of $147 million used for the construction of the 243-kilometre Arusha-Namanga-Athi River road, which was completed in 2012.
Some $49 million for the project came from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and about $ 8 million from the governments of Tanzania and Kenya.
Mr Negatu said the bank was highly encouraged by the benefits of some of the infrastructure projects it had undertaken.
He said the construction and operationalisation of the OSBPs - 15 of which have been put up in EA - was in line with the bank's integrated approach to infrastructure development.
"This approach entails mainstreaming 'soft' components such as trade facilitation measures in physical infrastructure projects to enhance their efficiency and developmental outcomes," he said.
The EAC secretary general, Mr Liberat Mfumukeko, said in addition to enhancing government revenue collections, the OSBPs have considerably reduced the overall dwell times across the borders by between 50 and 70 per cent.
President John Pombe Magufuli on Saturday said the Tanzanian side of the Namanga border post is expected to generate billions of shillings after being transformed into a unified facility. Operationalization of the post has seen revenues rise in the Tanzanian side from Sh3bn to Sh4.8 billion in 2017/18 financial year. It is projected to generate Sh5.8 billion during 2018/2019.