The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a loan of ZAR246.76mn, equivalent to US$36mn to finance the Kamanjab-Omakange road project in the northwestern Kunene Region of Namibia.

The project consists of the upgrading of 204km of gravel road to bitumen standards of a width of 6.8m carriageway and 1.5m gravel shoulders on either side, from Kamanjab to Omakange.

The project aims at enhancing broader access to social services in the area and to improve connectivity between the Kunene Region and other parts of the country. This will in turn facilitate economic development and poverty alleviation by improving the efficiency of the national transport infrastructure.

In addition, the road will improve links to neighbouring Angola thereby contributing towards the promotion of trade, tourism and regional integration. The objective of the project is consistent with the government’s poverty reduction action plan and the decentralisation policy aimed at improving the delivery of social services and promoting more equitable distribution of resources.

For instance, the project is expected to increase the all-weather national road network in Namibia by 100km per year, improve growth of overall traffic by 4 and 5% per annum for light vehicles and heavy vehicles respectively. The project is expected to lead to the reduction in the unemployment rate from 25% to less than 15% over a three year period.
The AfDB Group Country Strategy Paper for Namibia reflects the importance of the transport sector, and targets road upgrading and road construction as one of the priority sectors of its interventions in the country.

The total cost of the project is estimated at ZAR286.37mn, equivalent to US$41.76mn. The AfDB loan will finance 86% of the total cost of the project while the government of Namibia will provide the remaining 14%.

Bank group operations in Namibia began in 1991. To date, the group has committed a total of US$173.24mn in the country.