Substantial progress is being seen with Niger’s stretch of the Trans-Sahara Highway (TSH). Around 1,890km of the planned alignment in Niger has been built, with around 60km still to be constructed. Poor weather has delayed some of the progress however, with additional work being required. Surfacing work is still being carried out while most of the markings and traffic control systems have yet to be installed.
Much of the financial backing for the 9,400km Trans-Sahara Highway has been provided by the African Development Bank (AfDB). Other donors include IDB, BADEA, BDEAC, KFAED, SFD, OFID and the three Governments of Algeria, Niger and Chad. The route links Nigeria’s commercial centre Lagos with the Algerian capital, Algiers.
The project is of key commercial and economic importance for the North African and West African regions. It will be of particular economic importance for Niger as well as Mali, which are amongst the world’s poorest nations.
According to the AfDB, the TSH links six countries belonging to three out of the eight Regional Economic Communities (RECs) of the African Union, namely: Algeria and Tunisia (AMU), Mali, Niger, Nigeria (ECOWAS) and Chad (ECCAS). It comprises the main road running from Algiers to Lagos via Zinder in Niger, and three secondary roads branching from this major road. These are the Tunisian section (Ghardaia-Gabes), the Malian section (Tit-Kidal-Gao-Bamako) and the Chadian section (Zinder-Nguigmi-Daboua-Ngouri-Massakory-Ndjamena).
All users of the Trans-Sahara Road will directly or indirectly benefit from economic and social benefits. The region it will most benefit comprises 32 regions, 74 built-up areas, spans an area of 4.4 million km² and has a population of 60 million inhabitants shared between Algeria, Tunisia, Mali, Niger, Chad and Nigeria.