BAMYAN, AFGHANISTAN (19 MAY 2017) — Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani inaugurated the construction of the Dar-i-Suf to Yakawlang road on 18 May in Bamyan province. The road will boost Afghanistan’s transport network, widen economic and social opportunities, and connect remote areas to the country’s center.
Mr. Ghani was joined by the vice president, cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, officials from Bamyan’s local government, and representatives of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at the ceremony. The construction of the 178-kilometer (km) road is being financed from a $220 million ADB grant under the Transport Network Development Investment Program and will connect Balkh province in the north with the central Bamyan province.
“Infrastructure development is among the government’s key priorities for economic growth and development of Afghanistan. I am very pleased as the implementation of this national project will be starting today,” said Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. “This project will not only open the arteries of the central areas but it will turn central areas into Afghanistan’s heart.”
The project is part of the ADB’s North-South Corridor Project that supports the reconstruction of a total of 418 km of national and regional highways in the northern and central provinces of Afghanistan. Two other portions of the road connecting Mazar-e-Sharif with Dar-i-Suf, and Yakawlang with Bamyan have already been completed through ADB’s financial support.
“Bamyan province will be turned into the country’s transit hub after the completion of such road development projects,” said Mahmood Baligh, Minister of Public Works. “The road will connect northern provinces with central and southern provinces and will be completed over a period of three and a half years.”
The project is part of Afghanistan’s broader strategy to develop priority transport routes, increase trade through transport connectivity, and facilitate cross-border movement of goods through Afghanistan’s National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) and the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) 2020 Strategy.
Afghanistan is a founding member of ADB, and, to date, it has received over $4.7 billion in grants and loans, including more than $2.2 billion for road, railway, and airport projects.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.