President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, laid the first stone in the construction of the first 165-kilometre paved highway directly linking Mozambique and Tanzania in the northern province of Cabo Delgado on October 2.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has provided the funding for the project and for three bridges that are expected to facilitate the circulation of people and goods, as well as contributing towards ecotourism in the area, all-in-all boosting the regional economy.
The construction will be carried out in two phases by Chinese contractor, Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group, employing predominantly local labour.
The first phase involved paving a 70km dirt road from Negomano on the Tanzanian border to Roma. This will cut travel time between the towns from three hours by 4x4 to one hour with a standard car, replacing wooden bridges with three reinforced concrete structures, reports Global Construction Review (GCR).
The second phase will enhance the road south from Roma to the regional transport hub of Mueda, and will commence in 2019.
Joao David, Infrastructure Specialist at AfDB, said the bank was expecting the Mueda-Negomano road to boost the regional economy, mainly by making it easier for tourists to reach the Niassa Reserve, reports GCR.