Toll roads still on the cards for East Africa
The governments of East African nations – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – are continuing to explored road tolls to raise money for the financing of public infrastructure projects, according to media reports.
The following highways have been earmarked for tolling:
Thika Superhighway, the Southern Bypass, the Nairobi-Mombasa highway, the JKIA-Westlands expressway and the proposed second Nyali Bridge.
Chalinze-Morogoro road, part of the 921-km Tanzania–Zambia highway,
Uganda will start to levy drivers on the 55-kilometre Entebbe Expressway from January 2020. The expressway links Kampala with the Entebbe International Airport and was built and funded by the China Export and Import (Exmin) bank.
The toll income will be used to repay the $476 million loan for the road construction, repayable over a 40-year period at 2% interest per annum.
Allen Kagina, the Executive Director for Uganda’s National Roads Authority said: “We have a commitment to pay back the loan whether the tolls are enough or not.” She did confirm, however the a survey of road users has indicated there is a willingness to pay a toll.
President Museveni signed the Road Act into law in August, backing up plans for tolling.
The expressway has not been without some controversy, being regarded as the world’s most expensive road of its length.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said Africa needs up to $130–$170 billion a year for infrastructure, with a financing gap in the range $67.6–$107.5 billion.