Zambia and Botswana have signed a US $259m agreement to construct a 430km long railway to link the two countries across the Kazungula Bridge.
Zambia Railways Ltd and Botswana Railways’ boards resolved during a meeting held in Kasane to facilitate the construction of the lengthy line and a show of cooperation. According to Zambia Railways board chairperson Lubinda Linyama, construction of the project scheduled to begin soon after the 900-metre-long Kazungula bridge is completed and commissioned by June next year.
The railway project dubbed, “Mosetse-Kazungula-Livingstone”, is aimed to reduce transit time and transportation costs for both the people and boost trade trade in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The actual cost of the project will be established after undertaking a feasibility study.
“The project was proven feasible and as a quicker means of transporting goods and passengers in addition to roads to ease transportation problems and once completed will benefit all other countries in the 16-country-member region and bolster trade in real time,” said Mr. Lubinda.
“Zambia is up to date with its financial obligations for the construction of the Kazungula bridge which we are co- financing with Botswana to accelerate its completion,” he added.
Linyama also allayed fears that the bridge would not be complete in due course following rescheduling of the completion timetable but assured that the two countries were determined to ensure the project was completed as planned despite challenges faced in recent months.
“We are determined to undertake this (railway line) project despite the challenges that may arise.” said the board chairperson.