The negotiations between the government and the donors regarding the terms of the Kampala-Jinja Expressway and the Kampala Southern Bypass project are still ongoing.
According to General Katumba Wamala, the Works and Transport Minister, this project will be implemented through a Private Public Partnership arrangement, spanning 30 years.
Gen. Wamala said that the concession agreement between the government and the private sector concessionaire will be based on a design, build, finance, operate, and transfer (DBFOT) model.
He says the start date for the projects will be determined once the terms and conditions are finalized and the project agreements are signed.
By the end of December 2023, the government and the funders of the project had not selected a company to carry out the Kampala-Jinja Expressway and Kampala Southern Bypass project as a public-private partnership (PPP).
Several donors including the European Union, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Finance Cooperation (IFC and donors the French Development Agency (AFD) in early December 2023 toured part of the route for the proposed highway.
Their tour led to excitement among some of the residents along the route who expected to get construction jobs. Some travelers who have been braving traffic jams through Seeta, Mukono, and Lugazi were equally excited thinking that work on the highway was about to begin.
John Bosco Ssejjemba, the director of road infrastructure at the Ministry of Works urged those expecting from the project not to lose hope.
Ssejjemba explained that because of the magnitude of the project, it requires consultations among different stakeholders including the Government of Uganda. He said such negotiations tend to take longer than expected.
He revealed that land acquisition throughout the project route is ongoing as discussions between the funders and the government on the kind of documentation required for the private developer to take on the project.
He further revealed that four companies willing to construct the project under a Private, Public Partnership are being considered. He did not reveal those that shave been shortlisted.
Kampala-Jinja Expressway and Kampala Southern Bypass project involve the construction of a limited-access 76km tolled expressway between the capital Kampala and Jinja in the east. It is expected that once completed, it will ease congestion along the existing Kampala-Jinja highway and parts of Kampala city.
The project will further open up the Northern Corridor highway. The Northern Corridor is particularly important for international trade because it connects the Port of Mombasa in Kenya to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the expressway suggests that the project will be developed in two phases beginning with the 35km of the Kampala-Jinja Expressway from Kampala to Namagunga and the 18km Kampala Southern Bypass.
The project will have flyovers, viaducts, interchanges, connector roads, bridges, underpasses, pedestrian crossings, and toll gates. Construction is expected to take five years to complete.
The second phase will see the construction of the 41km second section of the Kampala-Jinja Expressway from Namagunga to Njeru at the new Nile Bridge. The entire project is expected to cost US$1.1 billion.