Expressway project set to boost local industries in Kampala © Getty Images
Expressway project set to boost local industries in Kampala © Getty Images

Uganda road to ‘spur trade’ with neighbours

8 April 2021

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is set to finance a $229.5m road which will join Ugandan capital Kampala with Jinja to reduce travel time and facilitate trade with its neighbours.

Phase one of the Kampala-Jinja Expressway Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project aims to improve travel flow and reduce “travel time from more than three hours to under one hour” between the destinations.

The two cities lie along the corridor linking Uganda to Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Kenya.

The initial phase is expected to take eight years to build and will be operated under a proposed 30-year concession period.

It will consist of the Kampala-Jinja Mainline Expressway and the Kampala Southern Urban Bypass (KSB). The first part of works to be carried out will be the 18km KSB and 35km of the main expressway from Kampala to Namagunga. Next will be the 42km road from Namagunga to Jinja.

Matia Kasaija, minister of finance, planning and economic development, said the road is a major gateway for all imports and exports of Uganda.

He added it would spur trade volumes and economic growth in Uganda and among its neighbours.

AfDB country manager for Uganda, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan added: “The public-private partnership model will bring in... an estimated net revenue of $2.1bn over the 30-year concession period.”

Uganda expects the project to boost local industries and has agreed at least 30% of subcontracting in the project would be awarded to local companies under the Buy Uganda Build Uganda policy.

Kampala also expects the project to create at least 1,500 direct jobs during the construction phase and 250 jobs during operations.

Last week, Uganda announced it would seek a loan of $130m to fund its 15% share of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.

The pipeline will carry oil from western Uganda’s Lake Albert region to the northern Tanzanian port of Tanga.

Uganda’s Parliamentary Committee on National Economy is due to announce final approval of the loan in the coming weeks.

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