President Mutharika was speaking on Thursday at Bolero Rural Growth Centre Ground in Rumphi when he addressed a rally after launching the 241 kilometer Rumphi-Nyika- Chitipa Road construction project.
“For so long previous governments have made promises that they will construct this road but nothing has materialized but today we are happy that construction of the road has commenced. This road will also connect Wenya and Nthalire Rural Growth Centres,” he said.
He said once completed the road will transform the status of the people in Rumphi and Chitipa as they will now have access to better markets for their products at the same time creating employment opportunities during the construction period.
“This road will open Nyika to the outside world through tourism and it will be a token to tourism,” he said.
Professor Mutharika said the road project is an addition to other projects such as Njakwa-Livingstonia Road, community stadium and Teachers Training College which his administration is implementing in the district.
“Malawi will soon have a better road network and I want this country to transform into a middle income country that will later attain the levels of Taiwan and Singapore economies,” he said.
He said his administration would focus its attention on transforming the rail sector with the construction of a railway line from Chilumba to Mbeya which he said is one of the projects earmarked in the current Transport Master Plan.
President Mutharika said his administration would rehabilitate Karonga-Nsanje M1 Road into a dual carriage way besides rehabilitating Salima —Dwangwa Road and construction of Jenda-Edingeni Road among others.
The road which is located in Rumphi and Chitipa districts has already been upgraded to bituminous standard from Rumphi Boma up to Lunyina Bridge where the current project starts from and will be upgraded in phases passing through Bolero, Hewe via Nyika National Park.
Once the road is completed, it will ease access to Nyika National Park which is one of the largest world life conservation centres with a lot of wild animals for tourist attraction, thereby enhancing its contribution to the country's economy.
It is also expected that minibuses and buses will be introduced on the road as such passengers will be paying and spending less time on travels between the two districts.
As the road passes through agricultural area, it will also ease transport problems of farm produce and inputs to and from various markets.
The project is being implemented barely three months after the launch of the Transport Master Plan which among other things, gears at providing reliable and durable roads to assist rural areas have access to income generating activities and social amenities such as health facilities and schools.
The construction project which has been awarded to Mota Engil is expected to be completed in January 2020.