Malawi, Kuwait Fund sign deal on Lirangwe-Chingale-Machinga road

The Malawi Government and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Development on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, signed a financing agreement in form of concessional loan for the construction of the much-awaited Lirangwe-Chingale-Machinga Road.

The signing ceremony took place on the sidelines of the 3rd Africa-Arab Summit, which opened on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, in Kuwait. Malawi President Joyce Banda witnessed the signing of the US$10.2 million agreement.

The agreement was signed, on behalf of the two parties, by Malawi’s Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. Cornelius Mwalwanda and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Development Director General, Abdulwahab Al-Bader.

President Banda was extremely upbeat about the signing of the agreement: “It’s a dream come true; the people of these areas have suffered far too long and to imagine that the current earth road will be upgraded into an all weather bitumen road, which would facilitate smooth movement of goods and people, is more than gratifying.

“Due to the poor condition of the current road, most of the produce, including rice, sugarcane, cassava and maize, is not transported to the markets at the right time leading to loss of value and money”.

Deputy Minister of Finance Dr. Cornelius Mwalanda and Kuwait Fund Director General Abdulwahab Al Bader sign the historic agreement

Deputy Minister of Finance Dr. Cornelius Mwalanda and Kuwait Fund Director General Abdulwahab Al Bader sign the historic agreement

The Head of State said the tarmac road shall reduce travel time, particularly when the sick want to seek expert medical attention in Zomba, Machinga or Blantyre and that transport costs and fares will also be competitive due to increased transport supply.

Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. Cornelius Mwalwanda said the implementation of the project shall contribute to the promotion of cross-border trade, tourism as well as the creation of employment due to increased economic activity along the road.

The Kuwait Fund for Arab Development Director General, Abdulwahab Al-Bader said project comprises civil engineering works of a bituminous road with a total length of about 62.3 kilometres; 6 metres carriage way and “asphalted shoulders of about 1 metre on each side”.

Added Abdulwahab Al-Bader: “The Project also involves construction of drainage facilities, bridges, erosion controls and traffic safety facilities. The Project also includes Consulting Services for revision and detailed designs and supervision of construction. The Project is expected to be completed by the end of 2014”.

Total cost of the Project is estimated at about MK18.026 billion. The funds provided by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Development will cover about 20.9 percent of the total cost of the project.

The Saudi Fund for Development and he Arab Bank for Economic Development (BADEA) will provide funds amounting to 20.5 percent of the total cost each.

The OPEC Fund for International Development and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development will each provide 14.4 percent of the total cost, while the Government of Malawi will meet the remaining percentage.

President Banda looks on with gratitude as the two signing officials are about to exchange agreement documents

President Banda looks on with gratitude as the two signing officials are about to exchange agreement documents

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