Parliament on Wednesday passed a bill authorising Malawi government to borrow money from the African Development Fund to finance the construction of Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay road project.
According to Finance Minister Ken Lipenga, the project will cost K 14.8 billion (about $37m) and is expected to be rehabilitated over a period of four years.
Lipenga said the project will among other things improve transport mobility between the two districts by bringing about overall reduction in travel costs.
“The project’s development objective is to contribute to the improvement of mobility of people, goods and services in the districts of Mzuzu and Nkhata Bay by specifically contributing to reduction of transport costs through reduced travel time and vehicle operating costs,” explained Dr. Lipenga.
The Minister continued that the project is in line with Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy number two and will support economic growth areas like agriculture, fisheries, mining and tourism in the two districts.
Lipenga added the road is located on the Mtwara development corridor which is currently under development and will save international freight traffic from Zambia and Tanzania and therefore the road is of great importance as it will provide a road link not only for domestic connectivity but also regional trade and integration.
Contributing to the bill, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Member of Parliament for Lilongwe Mpenu, Makala Ngozo said the project is of great benefit to the country at large considering that Nkhata Bay is a tourist destination district so it will help in bringing foreign exchange into the country.
“The MCP supports the project for we realise that the districts that will benefit from the project are tourist destination places and so this will help boost the tourism sector and also bring foreign exchange into the country, “Ngozo explained.
Once completed, the project will change lives of people living in the district economically as it will enhance economic activities in the two districts.