Madagascar receives US $140m grant for rural transport project

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Madagascar has received US $140m grant from the World Bank for the rural transport project. Marie-Chantal Uwanyiligira, World Bank Operations Manager in Madagascar revealed the report and said the project aims to improve community access to economic and social opportunities.

“This project is much more than just road construction and rehabilitation, it also aims to leverage the development of digital technologies to maximize the impact of rehabilitating these roads to improve connectivity and rural livelihoods. We hope that this innovative approach will be replicated elsewhere as the transport sector becomes a real government priority,” said Uwanyiligira.

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Phase one of the project

Phase one of the project will involve construction and rehabilitation of 148km of secondary roads and 500km of provincial and communal roads in the agricultural regions of Alaotra Mangoro, Anosy, and Atsimo-Atsinanana. Upon completion the project, will reduce transport costs, increase people’s access to basic social services and provide them with more social and economic opportunities.

Subsequently, it will improve crop and fisheries production as well as the development of agro-industry in the regions, given that agricultural products contribute 70% of total export share in Madagascar and the sector employs over 80% of the country’s population.

Madagascar’s overall poor infrastructure is negatively affecting its economic growth and development opportunities. The density of paved roads is estimated at 10km in every 1,000 square kilometres against 100km in every 1,000 square kilometres. Despite its huge agricultural potential, rural roads become inaccessible for nearly two to four months a year. Increased frequency of cyclones in recent years has also worsened the problem of inaccessibility.