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African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a loan agreement worth €103.95 million (equivalent to 335 million Dinars) to Tunisia to finance the Road Infrastructure Modernisation Project, Phase 2 (PMIR II).
The second phase of this project will aim at rehabilitating 230.6 km of roads in the governorates of Siliana, Kasserine, Kairouan, Sidi Bouzid, and Gafsa. It will also include the development of Enfidha – Kairouan road into 2×2 lanes, said Minister of Public Works and Housing Sarra Zaafrani Jenzri during the signing ceremony, held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Economy.
Minister of Economy and Planning Samir Saied said the investments planned within the framework of this project will contribute to reducing regional disparities by concentrating a large part of the operations in the disadvantaged governorates.
He also noted that the aim is to respond to the evolution of traffic, ensure better mobility of users on the road network and promote an efficient, inclusive and sustainable transport system serving to intensifyIntraa and inter-regional traffic. The modernization of the infrastructure will be given special importance in the development plan (2023/2026), which is currently being prepared.
This project represents the second phase of a comprehensive road infrastructure modernization program launched, in 2016, with a total cost of €219.35 million.
According to the minister, the first phase of this program, which is currently underway is at 80% finished and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The first phase targeted the rehabilitation of 719 km of roads in 21 governorates and the creation of 2,602 permanent jobs.
The modernization program will contribute to the creation of 204 micro-enterprises, i.e. 92 in phase I micro-enterprises.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Director-General of the AfDB Regional Office for North Africa Mohamed El Azizi said the transport sector is among the most important sectors in terms of cooperation with Tunisia. The AfDB has succeeded, during the last decade, in modernizing more than 70% of the Tunisian road network for a sum of 1.2 billion dollars.
He also indicated that the AfDB plans to provide further support to road sector reforms and to diversify its future actions to target other transport sub-sectors such as urban, rail, and maritime.
El Azizi said a team of experts from the Bank will visit Tunisia in the coming days to identify projects to be implemented in the coming years.