The road to economic growth

Thursday 26 Apr 2012

$350m Chinese-funded highway in Uganda to start construction in next few months

Construction will begin on a $350m Chinese-funded highway through Uganda in the next six months, according to the Uganda National Roads Authority. The four-lane carriageway will reduce congestion between two of the most important cities within the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA) on completion, linking Kampala and Entebbe International Airport.

The 51.4km highway will significantly reduce the journey time between these two popular destinations from approximately one and a half hours to just thirty minutes and is the latest in a series of operations to ease congestion in the area. Authorities have attempted to solve heavy traffic issues in the region by widening the existing Kampala-Entebbe road however the relocation costs for nearby residents and financial implications of land acquisition made the operation impractical.

With Chinese backing, a new strategy to construct a lengthy four-lane carriageway has taken off and China Communication Construction Co. Ltd are expected to begin physical works on the project later this year. The GKMA economy is the strongest in Uganda, contributing 40% of the country’s GDP, however the lengthy travel times in and out of the GKMA - and consequentially escalating travel costs - have presented Uganda with a need for alternative infrastructure.

The Uganda National Roads Authority details: “The high transport costs are a hindrance to economic growth which makes the situation in the GKMA unattractive to investors and erodes the returns on business activities. There is an urgent need to provide relief to the Kampala City Roads and the connection between Kampala and Entebbe International Airport.”

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