Mozambican President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi has commissioned a key link road funded by the African Development Bank. Completion of the Negomano-Roma Road, in the country’s northern province, is already enabling communities in the Mueda district of the northern Cabo Delgado region to enjoy improved road conditions, access to health and education, and increased local economic activity.
Flags flying (Mozambique flag to the far left, African Development Bank flag on far right), at the inauguration of the Negomano-Roma Road.
Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, Carlos Mesquita, Cabo Delgado Province Secretary of State António Supeia, and Governor of Cabo Delgado Province, Valige Tauabo accompanied President Nyusi at the official commissioning ceremony on 4 August. More than 200 residents of the Mueda district were also present, along with a delegation from the African Development Bank, led by the Bank’s country manager for Mozambique, Cesar Mba Abogo.
Nyusi praised the African Development Bank as a strategic partner of his country’s development agenda. He said the road would facilitate trade, the movement of people and goods, contributing to the increase of incomes, and growth of Mozambique’s economy.
“The road is a great gain for the viability and maximization of regional integration,” Nyusi said. “It is also the materialization of a dream of first Mozambican president Samora Machel and his Tanzanian counterpart, Julius Nyerere, whose goal was to bring together the bonds of fraternity between both countries.”
Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, Carlos Mesquita described the construction of the road marked “a significant milestone for regional development”. The construction of the 164-kilometre section from Negomano to Mueda is estimated to cost $170 million. The project has been executed in phases, with the first phase approved by the African Development Bank’s board in 2016 for a loan of $70 million.
In 2019 and 2022, the African Development Bank’s board approved an additional grant funding totalling $100 million. This was for the construction of the 35-kilometre stretch of road between Roma and Nambungale. Works on the sections Roma – Nambungale – Mueda are expected to commence early in the first quarter of 2024.
Driving progress together: Seated on the podium (Left to right) are Governor Valige Tauabo, Minister Carlos Mesquita, President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, Secretary of State António Supeia, and African Development Bank Country Manager Cesar Mba Abogo, all instrumental in the ground breaking Negomano-Roma Road project.
The road is a priority under the Mozambican government’s development plans for the northern region, which has significant economic and social potential, despite many challenges that have resulted in a lack of economic opportunities. The road is expected to improve trade between Mozambique and Tanzania in the long term and help address some social challenges and hardships. Construction took 42 months, with 417 local workers hired by the contractor under the framework of promotion and inclusion of local content.
Speaking for the African Development Bank, Abogo said the road provided an opportunity for stronger economic cooperation and integration between Mozambique and Tanzania, and the entire SADC community. “The delivery of such an asset is precisely what the Bank envisions by financing transformational infrastructure projects towards the achievement of its long-term strategy,” Abogo said.
Residents along the corridor have expressed their enthusiasm about the road’s positive impact on their daily lives. Elsa Joao, a resident of Ninga, said: “Before the construction of the road, it was difficult travel to the nearby hospital to receive medical care in Negomano, especially during the rainy season.”
Fellow local Cipriano Vintane recalled how before the construction of the road, it took three to four hours to travel between Negomano and Roma. “Now, the trip can be completed in less than an hour,” Cipriano said.
The project will include a social inclusion component involving the construction and rehabilitation of various schools, health centres, water boreholes, markets, a transformation centre for women’s associations and a vocational training centre.
Accelerating into the future: The freshly laid asphalt of the Negomano-Roma Road, adorned with crisp yellow and white line marking, symbolises a major step towards enhanced trade and connectivity between Mozambique and Tanzania.
The African Development Bank is one of Mozambique’s leading development partners in the transport sector.
The project aligns closely with the Bank’s regional integration priorities as well as its commitments under the African Development Fund, the Bank’s concessional lending arm.
These commitments include supporting trade facilitation in African Development Fund countries and on issues related to fragility, especially for northern Mozambique.
Source : AFDB