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Comorians celebrates over the transformative road funded by the African Development Bank

The people of the Union of the Comoros have celebrated the completion of a significant road project that will enhance access to the country’s agriculturally rich regions and popular tourist destinations.

Thousands of Comorians gathered to witness the official opening of the $30 million road, entirely financed by the African Development Bank.

President Azali Assoumani of the Union of the Comoros and Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, inaugurated the 49.2-kilometer section of National Road 2 (RN2), coinciding with the country’s 49th independence celebrations.

The newly opened road segment connects Moroni, the capital of Grande Comore, to the Foumbouni region in the southeast, significantly boosting the country’s transport infrastructure and serving as a catalyst for economic development in the Comoros.

The new road is projected to deliver substantial benefits, including a 27% increase in average daily traffic and a reduction in operating costs by 30% for cars and 33% for trucks. Additionally, it will cut average journey times by 50%.

During the inauguration ceremony, President Assoumani acknowledged the support provided for completion of the road and thanked  Dr Adesina for being present at the occasion.

“We are permanent partners. It is thanks to the African Development Bank and the intervention of its president, my dear brother Akinwumi Adesina, that we have built this road. We must continue to thank and encourage him,” President Assoumani said during his speech.

“This road will have a considerable impact on people’s lives. It plays an essential role in opening up areas with high economic potential for agriculture and tourism. It is the only access road to the popular tourist towns of Ouroveni and Male”, said Dr Adesina.  “I think we should even think of renaming this RN2 road ‘The Road of Hope,'” he added.

The upgrading of this section of the RN2 was undertaken in two phases. The first 11-kilometre section was completed in 2021 and a second section of 38.2 km was opened for traffic in June 2024.

“Improving connectivity is essential to enable Comoros to participate effectively in regional and global value chains, particularly in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area and in view of Comoros’ accession to the World Trade Organization,” said Adesina.

The African Development Bank has also invested in other areas to strengthen the Comoros economy, including the empowerment of women and young people, job creation, capacity-building for the country’s technical agencies, and institutional support for the government.

The Bank’s Board of Directors is expected shortly to review the extension of $136 million in grants for Comoros to deepen integration in the region, including for the rehabilitation and extension of the port of Moroni, the expansion of the port of Boingoma, and the establishment of economic zones.

“This project will be the largest ever supported by the African Development Bank in the history of its partnership with the Comoros”, said Dr Adesina.

The Bank Group has provided financial and technical assistance to the National Road Network Rehabilitation Programme since 2017. The programme was set up by the Comorian government to carry undertake large-scale road-network improvements.

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