Windhoek – The Cape to Cairo road project has expanded to Tanzania, in a move that would make travelling from South Africa to Egypt easier.
The dream of travelling the length of the African continent has always been a challenge due to lack of reliable road infrastructure. The dream could finally become reality after the Cape to Cairo road project expanded to Tanzania, with the opening of the Dodoma-Babati road last week.
Until its completion, the Dodoma-Babati road was a critical missing link in the 10,228-kilometre Trans-Africa Highway, linking Cairo to Cape Town, connecting nine African countries from South Africa to Egypt, through Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan.
With the completion of the road, traders and travellers would now conduct immigration procedures on only one side of the border, reducing time and costs.
According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), which co-financed the project together with the Tanzanian government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the volume of trade between Tanzania and the rest of Eastern and Southern Africa has risen to US$1.1 billion.
During the commissioning ceremony, Tanzania’s President, John Magufuli said the Dodoma-Babati road will improve the lives of people living in Tanzania and neighbouring countries.
“Projects financed by the African Development Bank have a real impact on people,” he said.
President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina said roads change everything adding that they bring hope alive. “While economic activity expands, so will family connections. It has brought much joy to families,” he said.
AfDB has invested US$3.6 billion in Tanzania, with an active portfolio of US$2 billion, 53% of which is in road projects. The institution has invested more than US$1.1 billion in five road projects in Tanzania, covering close to 1,400 kilometres.
Adesina said Tanzania is headed in the right direction with 7% economic growth this year, it has posted one of the highest growth rates in the world.
He said that shows that the future of Tanzania is indeed very bright and there will be a need for massive physical and social infrastructure.
“There will be a need for a Dodoma Airport. There will be a need for a new road network to support increased transport, especially the Dodoma Ring Road. I wish to assure you that the African Development Bank will strongly support you on critical infrastructure for the new City of Dodoma.”