>@Cyrille Lachèvre/EIB
@Cyrille Lachèvre/EIB

During a trip to Madagascar, European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle visited a number of ongoing road infrastructure projects, co-financed by the EIB with the active support of the European Commission.

He visited some of the sites included in the “Post Catastrophe” project and the site of the “Rocade” project in Antananarivo. The Minister of Regional Development, Housing and Public Works, and representatives of Agence Française de Développement, the European Union Delegation in Madagascar and the promoter Agence Routière de Madagascar were also in attendance.

The first site of the “Post Catastrophe” project visited was the 47km urban roads component, including in particular the RN2, the RN7, Route d’Itaosy and the 22.75km Avarabohitra bypass – four of the seven sites included in that component. These sections were rehabilitated and repaired both to improve journey times and provide sustainable infrastructure. The delegation led by the EIB Vice-President examined the work, which began at the end of 2018 following the initial EIB disbursements (now totalling over €13m) and was delivered in January. Apart from repairs to roads, work on renovating flood protection dams is also well under way. Works to strengthen the banks on the six sites of this project component are progressing steadily. Three sites were completed in 2019 and served to protect crops in the Soavina region during the 2019-2020 cyclone season. At each of these sites, the infrastructure affected has been rehabilitated not just to repair the damage caused but also to adapt to climate change and make the infrastructure more resilient to future risks.

Meanwhile, work on the Rocade project started in July 2018 thanks to the support of AFD, which financed all of the preparatory studies and paved the way for a maiden EU grant of €5m. This 8.2km road project is key to reducing traffic congestion in Antananarivo and is fully in line with the goals of the EU, which has made transport a priority objective for EU aid in Madagascar.

Following these visits, those attending also referred to the Modernisation Réseau Routier project financed in equal proportions by the EIB and the EU in order to rehabilitate the RN6 and RN13 trunk roads that provide access to two ports of economic and industrial significance, in the north and south of Madagascar respectively.

The two areas covered by the project are known for their agricultural and fisheries resources (in the north) and for the mining and quarrying industry (in the south). The project will therefore help keep the network accessible. The RN6 has been the victim of overuse by local industries for some years now and the numerous weather-related risks have taken their toll on what remained of this section of trunk road.

Overall, since 2014 the EIB has committed to financing the Madagascar road network to the tune of €178m, supplemented by €120m in grants from the European Commission.