Maputo, 13 Mar (AIM) – The Mozambican government and the World Bank on Friday signed in Maputo an agreement that formalises a grant of around 400 million US dollars to support the rehabilitation of 508 kilometres of the country’s main north-south highway (EN1).
The agreement was signed by the World Bank Regional Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, Victoria Kwakwa, and the Mozambican Minister of Economy and Finance, Max Tonela.
The project aims to improve the connectivity, safety and climate resilience of the road system, and develop social inclusion, in addition to making roads safe for better economic integration in Mozambique.
According to the Public Works Minister, Carlos Mesquita, who witnessed the ceremony, the section of EN1 in worst condition is about 1,050 kilometres long, out of a total length of 2,600 kilometres.
“The project will last 10 years, with two years of construction and eight years of maintenance. According to the identification of critical sections registered along the entire length of the N1, each section has its respective cost and duration”, the minister said.
In phase 1, the intervention will focus on 508 kilometres, of the 1,050 kilometres regarded as critical. This includes the stretches Inchope-Gorongosa, in the central province of Sofala, Chimuara-Nicoadala (in Zambézia) and Metoro-Pemba (in Cabo Delgado).
“After finishing phase 1, phase 2 will immediately follow, which includes the Lúrio river-Metoro section (Cabo Delgado); the stretch from the Save river to Muchungwè and Muchungwe to Inchope (both in Sofala). Phase 3, includes the Pambara to Save river section (in Inhambane province)”, he said.
For her part, Kwakwa stated that the programme is aimed at rehabilitating critical stretches to speed up the connectivity between Mozambican provinces, from the north to the south.
Over the next ten years, the World Bank, according to Kwakwa, will inject about 850 million dollars to finance the rehabilitation of the 1,053-kilometer stretch of the N1, as a way to support the government’s vision.
“Ultimately, it’s about the benefits that provide aid to the people of Mozambique, and the N1 will promote economic activity, as well as the inclusion of the many who depend on it. But we also know that with climate change we have to build better, ensuring resilience to the next disasters that are sure to come”, she said.