By Ibrahim Kasita
UGANDA has signed six loan agreements with the African Development Bank (AfDB) worth $345m (about sh784.8b). The loans will finance roads, sanitation, power transmission lines, education and agriculture projects.
Syda Bbumba, the finance minister and Keith Muhakanizi, the secretary to the Treasury, signed the agreements on behalf of Uganda.
Benedict Kanu, the AfDB in-charge of the Uganda office, told reporters in Kampala that the signing was done during the bankâ€™s annual meeting in Senegalâ€™s capital Dakar recently.
The first project includes the Kampala sanitation programme worth $52.5m. It is aimed at improving access to sanitation and environment protection.
He said the project entails construction of sewage treatment plants, public and school toilets with hand-washing facilities as well as training of teachers and school inspectors in sanitation.
The second project involves improving post-primary education and is worth $78m. It aims at expanding access to Universal Secondary Education and improve the quality and learning conditions of students.
The third project is the Mbarara-Nkenda/Tororo-Lira transmission lines worth $78.76m. It aims at transporting power from the 50MW Mputa thermal generation plant and the 35MW upcoming mini-dyro power plants in western Uganda to the national grid by connecting them to the Nkenda-Fort Portal-Mputa transmission line.
The fourth project includes a community agriculture infrastructure improvement programme worth $67.4m that is aimed at enhancing farmersâ€™ access to markets to attract higher prices.
Another project is a markets and agricultural trade improvement project worth $56.9m aimed at improving marketplace economic and social infrastructure.
The sixth project is the multi-national interconnection of electric grids of the Nile Equatorial Lakes countries worth $149m. It is aimed at increasing cross-border sharing of power and increasing its availability in the region.
Kanu said the AfDB needs to be appropriately resourced to deal decisively with the diverse needs of its regional members and to meet the demand for the long-term funds required for investments. in development initiatives.
â€œThe AfDB will follow through objectives of its mid-term strategy, particular, promotion of private sector activities and regional integration,â€ he promised.