Niger Section Of The Trans-Sahara Highway Almost Complete
The highway links West and North Africa and runs from Lagos, Nigeria, to Algiers, Algeria.
The 9,400 kilometres Trans-Sahara Highway, linking West and North Africa, is in the final construction phase. This major road from Lagos, Nigeria, to Algiers, Algeria, will play a vital role in establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area.
The Trans-Sahara Highway is one of the main trans-Africa corridors championed by the African Union Commission as the backbone of the continent's development. One of the key financiers of the project is the African Development Fund, which is the African Development Bank Group’s concessional lending window.
The African Development Fund has contributed US$119.32 million to the total project cost of the Niger section. Other financiers include the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the Development Bank of the Central African States (BDEAC), the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the governments of Algeria, Niger, and Chad.
The Highway links six countries – Algeria, Tunisia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Chad. It comprises the main road from Algiers to Lagos via Zinder in Niger, with three secondary roads branching off. These are the Tunisian (Ghardaia-Gabes), Malian (Tit-Kidal-Gao-Bamako), and Chadian sections (Zinder-Nguigmi-Daboua-Ngouri-Massakory-Ndjamena).
60 million Africans will enjoy better living standards thanks to the 9,022km long Trans-Sahara Highway, which will connect Algiers to Lagos and Dakar to Djibouti City.— African Development Bank Group (@AfDB_Group) July 24, 2019
🎬Watch below to see how we’re contributing! pic.twitter.com/V1h7T9lw3x
In an interview granted by the African Development Bank Group’s project manager in Niger, Albéric Houssou Olaya Cestmir, he stated that following the construction of the Farié bridge across the Niger River, cross-border traffic between West and North Africa had increased. According to Cestmir, about 97%, or 1,890 kilometres, of the total 1,950 kilometres of the road in Niger, has been constructed. Outstanding works on the Niger section include:
- Reinforcement of the base layer of the road
- Paving and signalling work, which is currently in the planning phase
- Completing the environmental and social management plan, such as installing boreholes and fixing platforms
- Completing developments around and on the banks of the Farié bridge on the Niger River (there are boreholes to be drilled and equipped and construction of classrooms and type 1 integrated health centers with playgrounds).
The outstanding works (road and related facilities) in the Niger section of the highway are expected to be completed in about 12 months.
Cestmir also stated that the project is designed in an inclusive and integrated manner to strengthen the resilience of the populations in the project area. Related developments represent about 20% of the total project and are intended to improve the lives of the people. The project has constructed 18 boreholes, including 14 on the Arlit-Assamaka road, 16 classrooms, offices and boreholes equipped with solar panels, two rest areas, two animal loading and unloading stations, 190 street lights, and other works. These investments, worth US$4.98 million or 2.5 billion CFA francs, are still ongoing in the Gothèye and Kouthèye communes.
The project has helped improve travel time in the area and has opened up economic opportunities to the local communities in the project's catchment areas. There is also a notable increase in traffic flow at the Chad-Niger border. This is due to Niger playing a transit role for supplies to Chad from Algeria and Nigeria.
Top Photo: Farié bridge crossing the Niger River, in Niger (afdb.org)
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