Entebbe expressway to open to traffic in November

The completion date of the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway “has been revised 16 November”, according to works and transport minister, Monica Azuba-Ntege, to allow the contractor, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), complete works on a section that runs from Mpala to Entebbe town, along the old carriageway.

“The widening of this section from Mpala to Entebbe town has been affected due to continuous delays in acquisition of land for the right of way,” Ms Azuba said.

The toll road runs from Impala, along the old Entebbe road through a number of villages to Kajjansi, and from Kajjansi to Kabojja, and ends at Busega on the outskirts of Kampala where it connects to the Northern Bypass. There is also a 14km spur route to Munyonyo.

The road was commissioned on Friday by President Museveni and Wang Yang, a member of China’s Politburo Standing Committee, and chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

The road has three toll plazas at Mpala (five gates), Busega (six gates), and Kajjansi (five gates). It also boasts of 19 over bridges and flyovers and 17 underpasses.

Uganda currently doesn’t have regulations governing the operation of a toll road. But officials with the works ministry said they are finalising a road bill which details tolling guidelines for both the Entebbe expressway and other planned toll roads like the Kampala-Jinja expressway, Busega-Mpigi, and Kampala-Bombo roads.

CCCC will run the tolls on the in the first year as the Uganda National Roads Authority searches for a local contractor to take over the role.

The Entebbe expressway cost an estimated $476m which was borrowed from China’s Export–Import (EXIM) Bank.

President Museveni said the road is “a result of enhanced Chinese-African support” while Mr Wang described it as a “starting point in Uganda’s economic take-off.”

Mr Wang said the road is part of President Xi Jinping’s Silk Road belt project, an initiative launched in 2013 to enhance connectivity from mainland China to Africa and Europe.