East Africa to receive $1.2bn World Bank infrastructure boost

1 Dec 14
The East African Community is to receive $1.2bn from the World Bank to support infrastructure investment and improve competitiveness.

The funds, which are being channelled through the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, will support projects through market-driven private financing and guarantees. It will contribute to investments the five nations of the EAC have planned over the next three to seven years, particularly projects to improve transport links and ports.

Announcing the funding at the EAC heads of state retreat in Nairobi, Philippe Dongier, World Bank country director for Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda, said: ‘We are partnering with the EAC governments, other development partners and the private sector to invest in regional infrastructure and to help deepen policy integration and reduce barriers to trade in the EAC.

‘We are preparing investments to revive the region’s inland waterways on Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika, and to enhance the capacity and efficiency of the two main EAC ports on the Indian ocean: Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania and Mombasa in Kenya.

‘We will also investment in specific transport links to better connect landlocked countries (Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan) to the Northern and Central corridors, this way improving these countries’ access to the ports of Mombasa and Dar-es-Salaam.’

The World Bank said the funding would also support the boom in extractive industries in the region, facilitating easier movement of goods, people and capital.

The EAC was re-established in 2000, after being dissolved in 1977. Its members are Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda who share a common market and aspire to create a common currency and political federation.

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