A $2.5 billion loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) will see partner states of the East African Community (EAC) provide an additional 7,480 megawatts (MW) of electricity by 2022.
The EAC comprises six member states in the African Great Lakes region in eastern Africa, namely: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
According to EAC Secretary General, Libérat Mfumukeko, the funds – approved through the Regional Integration Strategy for Easter Africa (RISP 2018-2022) – will help enhance regional transport connectivity, regional energy infrastructure, regional information and communications technology connectivity and management of trans-boundary water resources.
“The funds will support projects aimed at accelerating implementation of the EAC single market, trade development, including tackling of non-tariff barriers, and putting in place policy frameworks for industrialisation and promotion of EAC as a single investment destination,” said Mfumukeko.
Further adding that a number of energy projects have been prioritized by the national bank and RISP, including the Masaka (Uganda) – Mwanza (Tanzania) transmission line, Kigali-Bujumbura oil products pipeline feasibility study and Uganda-Tanzania-oil-pipeline products study.
AfDB Director General for Eastern Africa Region, Gabriel Negatu, pledged to support the growth of both agriculture and industrialization in the EAC bloc, adding that investment in agriculture and industrialization was crucial for the development of the region.
“In order to exploit regional and international markets, the opportunity for industrial growth exists in locally producing inputs for use in the agricultural sector. EAC is still the fastest growing region partly due to solving bottlenecks of communication by investing heavily in infrastructure; I would like to request all partner states to focus on the challenge of doing business in order to realise value integration process in the region,” Negatu said.