On 13 October 2023, the groundbreaking to commence the rehabilitation of a 30km long road between Karibib and Usakos took place on site. Hon. John Mutorwa, Minister of Works and Transport (MWT), Hon. Neville Andre Itope, Governor of Erongo Region, Mr, Conrad Lutombi, CEO of RA, Mr. Thomas Feidieker, a Representative of the German Embassy, and various local representatives attended the ceremony.
“By improving our roads and railways, we are enhancing our country’s competitiveness as the gateway for the transit of imports and exports, especially for the land-locked countries in the southern African sub-region. As a developing country, we must continue to make these efforts toward achieving our National Development Plans, which are the building blocks of Vision 2030,” Hon. Mutorwa noted in his keynote address.
On behalf and with funds of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the project is co-financed and implemented through the KfW Development Bank, by means of a concessional loan of N$ 372,6 Mio to the Government of the Republic of Namibia.
After a long preparation and thorough tendering process, Zhong Mei Engineering Group was appointed as successful Contractor. Four (4) Local Contractors, namely Ino Investment Holdings cc, Tangeni OM Trading cc, West Trading cc, and Alugodhi Trading cc, were appointed to execute the works with the Main Contractor. The procurement was done through the Roads Authority, following the Namibian Procurement Act and Procurement Guidelines by KfW Development Bank.
The inclusion of local companies is again an important aspect, after these have been trained in the Namibian-German cooperation and included in most joint projects. The combined value of the works reserved for the Namibian Contractors is approximately 25.18% of the total contract amount. Furthermore, about 500 employment opportunities will be created for Namibians during construction. The construction works will be completed within 18 months.
Speaking at the occasion, the RA CEO noted that the RA encountered discontent surrounding the appointment of the Contractor for this project. “However, I am happy that all the matters were addressed accordingly. We can finally commence the rehabilitation works on this project, which we all know will be life-changing once completed. I am confident that all the speakers here today will echo my sentiments that this project is important nationally and internationally as it links to the Port of Walvis Bay ”, he noted.
“Please allow me to use this platform to assure the Namibian Nation that the Roads Authority takes full cognizance and understands the plight and challenges experienced by local contractors concerning limited work opportunities in the road sector. However, we remain firm and committed to providing a conducive operating environment that empowers and capacitates local contractors to undertake various road projects of different sizes and complexities in Namibia ” he added.
KfW has been supporting the expansion of the Namibian road network through grants for access roads and labour-based road construction since independence. The labour-based construction approach creates jobs by training local workers and SMEs that can take up work in the road construction sector. Therefore, this approach helps reduce poverty and stimulates economic and social development in Namibia. With the construction of access roads in the northern regions, KfW also helps reduce the rural population’s vulnerability due to extreme weather conditions and the negative impacts of climate change.
Additionally, since 2016 KfW has funded expanding and maintaining significant corridor roads through concessional loans. Main corridor roads are being rehabilitated and partly extended to contribute to the economic objective of having a well-functioning and high-quality transport infrastructure connected to the most important local and regional markets and the port of Walvis Bay. To date, the construction of more than 1700 km of roads has been co-financed by KfW in close cooperation with the RA.
From 1990 until today the funds of German development cooperation mount up to EUR 1.6 billion (approx. NAD 32.3 billion). The KfW portfolio under implementation comprises 36 projects with a total volume of EUR 646.2 Mio (approx. NAD 12.9 billion), while 22 projects with a volume of EUR 329.4 Mio (approx. NAD 6.6 billion) are under preparation.