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COWI wins ground-breaking highway contract in Uganda

Photo: COWI

COWI has won a contract with the Uganda Road Authority for a 400-kilometre highway that is to become a part of the A104 highway, linking the Kenyan port of Mombasa with the new country of South Sudan.

The newly signed contract for building highway A104 is the first ever of its kind in Ugandan history. This new contract, a so-called output- and performance-based road contract (OPRC), is an innovative new way of outsourcing maintenance and asset management.

"First of all, this is a huge and very exciting project for us. There is a great need for improving infrastructure in Uganda as well as in many other African countries. It is important that COWI be involved in these kinds of projects, as it seems that these contracts are the way of the future in Africa," says Jan Holm Pedersen, Project Director, Railways, Roads and Airports.

A chance for local progress

The project is situated in the north-eastern part of Uganda, running from the Kenyan border to the city of Gulu, all in all 403 kilometres of highway. The current road section consists of various dirt roads and some newly built tarmac roads. When completed, highway A104 will run through three countries: Kenya, Uganda and the newly independent South Sudan.

"South Sudan is only now building its first ever tarmac roads. Constructing this new highway will be of great importance to South Sudan trade and exports. Furthermore, it will create a lot of business along the highway in Uganda, where locals will be able to get about more easily as they won't have to travel to and from the marketplace on ramshackle dirt roads," says Holm Pedersen.

All over Africa, the potential for these kinds of infrastructure projects is huge, and according to Jan Holm Pedersen, building the A104 highway is a great opportunity for COWI to get a foot in the door in the future.

"A good reference in Africa can be the deciding factor when new assignments and projects come along, and the way things are going in Africa, the demand will only continue to rise," says Holm Pedersen.

LAST UPDATED: 16.09.2016