The Madagascar authorities have started works on the country’s first motorway linking the capital, Antananarivo, to the country’s economic hub and largest port, Tamatave.
The four-year project has a budget of nearly $1 billion which the Egyptian company, Samcrete will be in charge of.
According to the Minister of Public Works in Madagascar, Jerry Hatrefindrazana, the highway will relieve the congestion of the national road number 2, which is estimated to be five times greater in the next three years.
However not everyone is in support of the new construction project as there is a spark of controversy among the population. Farmers are one group particularly affected, farmer Roland Edie Rakotodramasy complained, he said “We are in the middle of the rice transplanting period, right at the moment when our rice fields will be destroyed”.
On the other hand, some people like Pauline Ramialisoa remained convinced about the overall benefits of the project, she said “traffic will be faster, cars will not use much gasoline and transportation of goods from inside and outside will be more fluid”.
EGAAD, one of the Egyptian companies involved in the project emphasised on the advantages of the new infrastructure as the first stage of the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the president’s mandate in 2023.