Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete on official visit to Kenya

Dedication to construction of Arusha-Mombasa road.

On his three-day visit to Kenya the outgoing Tanzanian president, Jakaya Kikwete, officially marked the upgrade of one of the sections of the Arusha-Voi road together with his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta.

The two presidents unveiled a commemorative plaque at Taveta to the construction of the 90k Taveta-Mwatate section of the road which will eventually connect Arusha in north Tanzania to the Kenyan port of Mombasa. So far almost 35kms of the road around Taveta now have a hard bitumen surface.

The road, which is being built by the China City Construction Group, is being funded by the Africa Development Bank to the tune of $218 million, with Kenya receiving $116 million and Tanzania $102 million.

Lions Bluff Lodge LUMO Wildlife Sanctuary,_Kenya

The road is designed to connect important sections of the East African Community and will increase trade between the Tanzania and Kenya. In the last five years cross-border trade between the two neighbours has risen by 40 per cent.

There are also plans for Kenya to import gas from Tanzania to improve its energy supplies. Tanzanian gas reserves have increased 18 per cent in the last year thanks to new discoveries off the country's southeastern coast.

The new Taveta-Mwatate road crosses key elephant and migration routes between the west and east sections of the Tsavo national park, and skirts the north of the vital LUMO Wildlife Sanctuary which acts as the corridor between the west and the east of the Tsavo park.

President Kikwete, who can not run for a third term as president in Tanzania's elections on 25 October has assured Kenya's president that Tanzanian commitment to the road will continue under his successor.

Relations between the two countries have often been tense in recent months especially on the subject of tourism.

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