Botswana and Zambia have inaugurated a highway and rail bridge linking the 2 nations, marking the completion of a multimillion-dollar challenge geared toward easing congestion at border crossings and boosting commerce.
Stretching for 923 metres (some 3,000 ft) over the Zambezi River, the curved Kazungula bridge supplies a long-needed various route for hauliers.
“This will decrease the price of doing enterprise,” Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu mentioned on the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, anticipating “a rise in commerce and competitiveness, job creation, tourism and different constructive ripple results”.
Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi mentioned the bridge would “open avenues for improved commerce”. He additionally mentioned his nation regarded Zambia as a key strategic accomplice in improvement, including the challenge was an illustration of the continued rising relations.
Construction of the $259m challenge started in December 2014, co-funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), regional governments and different grants.
Namibia and Zimbabwe joined the consortium in 2018.
KAZUNGULA BRIDGE AND ONE STOP BORDER FACILITY
— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) May 10, 2021
The bridge will facilitate regional freight transport by permitting vehicles to bypass the infamous Beitbridge border put up between Zimbabwe and South Africa, which is perennially congested, with automobiles spending hours – and typically days – queueing to cross.
The inauguration ceremony was additionally witnessed by African Union Chairperson and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi. Zambia and the DRC are within the technique of placing up the same facility on their border.
Other dignitaries had been Southern African Development Community Chairperson and Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi and Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.