The World Bank has approved a $400 million grant from the International Development Association (*IDA) to support the Safer Roads Project for Economic Integration in the Republic of Mozambique. The objective of the project is to improve road connectivity, safety and climate resilience, as well as to foster greater social inclusion in the project areas.
“Roads are vital for economic activity, growth, social inclusion and poverty reduction,” noted Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros , Mauritius and the Seychelles. “This operation is essential to revitalize the connectivity of Mozambique’s north-south roads and thus integrate the fragile north-central provinces with the rest of the country by rehabilitating priority road sections of the N1 north-south corridor”.
The bulk of the project funds will finance the design and rehabilitation of safer and more climate-resilient roads, which will include road improvement and maintenance. A total of 508 kilometers of selected priority road sections will benefit from the rehabilitation. These include the following: Metoro – Pemba (94 kilometres) in the province of Cabo Delgado; Gorongosa – Caia Lot 1 (0-84 kilometers), Gorongosa – Caia Lot 2 (84-168 kilometers) and Inchope – Gorongosa (70 kilometers) in the province of Sofala; and Chimuara – Nicoadala Lot 1 (0-88 kilometers) and Chimuara – Nicoadala Lot 2 (88-176 kilometers) in Zambezia Province. Other activities funded by the project will help promote community engagement and empowerment of women; improve road safety management, institutional development and project management; and develop a contingent emergency response.
“The project will also support road sector reforms aimed at improving road safety, better preserving and managing road assets, improving road sector financing mechanisms and enhancing preparedness for natural disasters,” added Nargis Ryskulova, Senior Transport Specialist at the World Bank and Project Manager. “The project is part of a multi-phase programmatic approach (MPA) also approved by the Board of Directors today, which releases an indicative funding envelope of $850 million to support the road sector in the Republic of Mozambique. AMP has an expected duration of ten years.
The N1 Corridor is the longest road corridor in the country linking the southern province of Maputo to the northernmost province of Cabo Delgado. Fragile and conflict-affected areas in central and northern Mozambique are not sufficiently integrated with the rest of the economy, which contributes to poverty and adds to the underlying causes of fragility and insecure. Improving the N1 would increase accessibility to the internal market, unlock agricultural and tourism potential and benefit approximately 56% of the total population. In addition, climate change and the increasing frequency of tropical cyclones in Mozambique are having a devastating impact on road infrastructure. Finally, Mozambique has one of the highest road fatality rates in the world and incidents of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (SEA/SH) are widespread in the country. This project will seek to address many of these challenges.
The project is fully in line with Mozambique’s National Development Strategy 2015-2035 and the World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework for FY23-27, currently under preparation. The project is also aligned with Mozambique’s long-term strategy for road sector development 2020-2024, the World Bank Group’s climate change action plan 2021-2025 and the climate business plan. of the next generation in Africa.