The World Bank and the Government of Uganda has signed a Credit in the amount of $145 million to support the Albertine Region Sustainable Development Project .
The five-year project of a total of US$153 million is expected to benefit nearly three million. It will finance access to infrastructure, markets and skills development in the Albertine Region of Uganda, a region undergoing rapid growth and transformation due to the oil finds.
The agreement was signed by Matia Kasaijja, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, and Christina Malmberg Calvo, the World Bank Country Manager for Uganda.
“This project will benefit the people of the Albertine region and beyond, and has been prepared in close partnership with the Government of Uganda,” said Christina Malmberg Calvo, the World Bank Country Manager for Uganda. “It complements broader programs of support to local government, transport and skills, as well as the development of key productive sectors of the economy.”
The Albertine Region Sustainable Development Project will finance the upgrading of 100 kilometers of road from Kyenjojo to Kabwoya from a gravel road to a class two-highway. The stretch of road forms part of the 238 kilometer Kyenjojo-Hoima-Masindi-Kigumba road. It will connect the districts of Kyenjojo, Kibaale, Hoima, Masindi, and Kiryandongo in Western Uganda. The road is expected to significantly reduce travel times in the region, induce local economic development and provide better access to markets and social services in the region.
The project will also support local development in the region by financing small-scale productive infrastructure in Buliisa and Hoima Districts, as well as the upgrading of rural roads to all season roads. This will benefit the mostly rural population providing better access to markets and services. Planning of towns undergoing development pressure in the region will also be supported with funds from the Credit, as will developing the capacity of local authorities to manage the impacts of growth pressures.
The upgrading of several technical colleges, including the Uganda Petroleum Institute in Kigumba and the Uganda Technical College in Kichwamba, is also included in the Project.
This aspect of the Project will modernize the facilities and curriculum and improve the governance of these institutions. It will also include a program to provide bursaries to approximately 600 students to develop skills that might allow them to find employment in the region, including in agro-processing, construction, tourism and nursing.
The World Bank’s current portfolio comprises of 19 national operations with a total commitment of US$2.5billion (including about US$200million of grants) and five regional operations with a net commitment of US$224million.