$1.2bn for East Africa infra

The World Bank has confirmed a $1.2bn support package to help boost infrastructure across East Africa.

The bank announced it plans to loan the region the funds in order to "support infrastructure development and improve the competitiveness of the East African Community (EAC) states".

Inland waterways and ports in Kenya and Tanzania are expected to benefit most from the cash, as part of efforts to boost integration in the region.

The five-nation East African Community, which also comprises Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, is working to package cross-border infrastructure plans to make them more attractive to potential financiers.

Philippe Dongier, World Bank Country Director for Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda, said: "We will also invest in specific transport links to better connect landlocked countries (Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan) to the northern and central corridors, this way improving these countries’ access to the ports of Mombasa and Dar-es-Salaam."

The African Development Bank recently said the continent urgently needs to improve its PPP environment to tackle its infrastructure deficit.