Japanese royals launch new Jinja bridge construction

Thursday 14th June 2012

The visiting Prince and Princess Akishino of Japan have this morning laid a foundation stone for the construction of the new bridge over River Nile at Jinja in Eastern Uganda. The ceremony was also in commemoration of their visit to Uganda as well as cementing the existing relationship between the peoples of two countries Japan and Uganda.

The state of the art bridge, whose construction will start early next year (2013) and to be completed in December 2017, is projected to cost US$100 million from a concessional loan received by the Government of Uganda from the Government of Japan through the technical arm of the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

Welcoming their Royal Highnesses to Uganda in general and to Jinja in particular, the Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Abraham Byandaala, thanked the government of Japan for the timely intervention adding that the old facility that was commissioned in 1954 can no longer handle the increasing volume of transport traffic as there is equally increasing tear and wear of the bridge.

The Minister said the aim of the new bridge is to improve communication and trade in the countries of the region. He, however, on behalf of President Museveni, the government and the people of Uganda, conveyed heartfelt condolences to the people of Japan upon the troubles they have gone through, especially in the loss of their beloved ones in the recent tsunami catastrophe. He noted that despite all these calamities, the people of Japan have continued to extend their assistance to the people of Uganda, especially in support of the new bridge project in Jinja.

The Japanese Ambassador to Uganda, Mr. Minagawa Kazuo, noted that the longest bridge in Africa to be constructed over the River Nile in Jinja, will contribute immensely in concretizing the good relationship that has existed for the last 50 years between Japan and Uganda.

The new bridge that will stand 80 meters high and 525 meters long with dual lanes is expected not only to contribute to the social and economic development of Uganda but will also act as the only viable link across the Nile for the people of the land locked East African countries and beyond.

The historic event was witnessed by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Daudi Migereko and that of State for Gender and Culture, Hon. Isanga Nakadama. Also present were the new Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community in charge of Production and Social Sector, Ms. Jessica Eriyo, Uganda’s Ambassador to Japan, Mr. Wasswa Biriggwa, and Members of Parliament from Busoga Sub-Region as well as Jinja Municipality leadership, among others.


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