The Mozambican government announced the start of the first phase of rehabilitation works on the country’s main road on Friday, with funding of about €375 million the World Bank approved in August.
“We are continuing our efforts with the bank, with the technical teams that we have established, so that we can draw up a specific programme and a schedule for implementation of the work so that we can begin work by the end of 2023,” the minister of public works, housing and water resources, Carlos Mesquita, said today.
Mesquita was speaking during the signing of a funding agreement worth US$400 million (around €375 million) with the World Bank’s vice president for Africa, Victoria Kwakwa.
The act in Maputo was merely the formalisation of the funding that the international institution announced in August 2022.
Mesquita said that procedures were being drawn up to select the companies that would carry out work on National Highway 1 (EN1), which links the country from north to south.
Mesquita said that the first phase would include upgrading 508 of the 1,050 kilometres of road identified as having “difficult access”.
In total, the EN1 is around 2,600 kilometres long.
Mesquita said that upgrading of the entire degraded route was estimated to cost US$850 million (around €750 million), and efforts were underway to get more funding.
The World Bank’s vice president for Africa called the infrastructure “very important” for Mozambique and the countries.
“It is important that [the road] is in a condition to contribute to productivity and efficiency of the economy, not only of Mozambique and the other countries in the region,” Victoria Kwakwa stressed.