Sudan and Uganda to jointly develop infrastructure

By Richard High28 August 2008

Construction of a new road in Sudan.

Construction of a new road in Sudan.

Uganda and Sudan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the development of a railway line between the two countries, according to Uganda's Monitor news agency.

The 920 km-long line, which will run from Gulu-Nimule-Juba-Wau, is shorter than the 1028 km-long Pakwach-Arua-Oraba-Yei-Juba line, which had been proposed earlier.

The MoU was signed by Uganda's Minister of Work John Nasasira and Sudan's Brigader General Philip Thon Leek Deng, Minister of Transport, Roads and Bridges during a trade meeting between the two countries.

At the meeting the two countries also agreed to establish joint project proposals on roads and railway lines linking the two countries in an effort to secure funding. A Joint Ministerial Transport Commission (JMTC) will implement the decisions of the MoU and jointly oversee the development of transport infrastructure and services between the two countries.

In a statement, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) said the bilateral meeting also discussed the status of ongoing and planned projects on key roads connecting Sudan and Uganda.

The UNRA statement said the World Bank would finance a feasibility study in to the Vurra-Arua-Koboko-Oraba road, which is expected to start construction almost immediately. Upgrading the original road to bitumen is expected to start in March 2010.

"During this financial year the road will undergo routine maintenance and full re-gravelling will commence in December 2008. Reconstruction of 14 bridges along the road is also expected to commence in December 2008," said the UNRA statement.

Tenders for construction are due at the end of August, said the statement, while procurement for the feasibility study and detailed design for 104 km-long Gulu-Atiak-Nimule road is currently at technical evaluation stage and will be completed by September 2009.

Construction costs are currently estimated to be US$ 75.4million. The 265 km-long Moroto-Kotido-Kaabong-New Site-Kapoeta road is also scheduled to be full re-gravelled starting in January 2009. Upgrading works, which are expected to cost US$ 174million, should start in June 2010.

The 80 km-long Kitgum-Musingo (Border) link is in Uganda, while the 208 km-long Musingo-Tsertenya-Ikotos-Torit is in Sudan. A feasibility study and detailed design of the entire link from Rwenkunye-Apac-Lira-Kitgum-Tsertenya is scheduled to start in February 2009 and is expected to be completed in December 2009. Upgrading works are estimated to cost US$ 150 million and are scheduled to commence in June 2010.

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