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World Bank to implement EU rural roads programme

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The European Union (EU) in Malawi on Wednesday signed an administrative agreement with the World Bank amounting to Euro 27.5 million (approximately K21 billion) for the implementation of a five year Rural Roads Improvement Programme (RRImP).

EU Ambassador to Malawi, Marchel Gerrmann, said this is part of the Euros 35 million (approximately 27 billion) that was signed with government in March this year for rehabilitation and maintenance of 1,200 kilometres of rural roads in the country.

He said the programme aims at supporting economic growth from the agriculture sector and job creation.

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“I believe this is a very important contribution to the Malawi’s economy. Having better rural roads means access to markets, agricultural inputs and social services. Farmers will be able to access markets for their products to be sold at better prices generally support the economic development of the country, “ he said.

Gerrmann said the funds will be used to rehabilitate rural roads in 12 selected productive districts and construction of 50 small bridges among others by the end of 2020.

The envoy further said the programme will source local labour and 15,000 people are expected to be employed in the earmarked districts.

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Speaking during the signing ceremony, World Bank Country Manager, Laura Kullenberg, said the resources will go a long way in enhancing the agricultural production in the country.

“Roads and agriculture production are twinned. You cannot develop in the absence of the other. People, especially farmers, need good roads to access extension services, so without roads the access to market component falls apart.

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