The African Development Bank and Africa Finance Corporation have joined the United States, the European Union, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia in signing a memorandum of understanding to develop the Lobito Corridor and the new Zambia-Lobito rail line. The goal is to complete the projects within five years.
“The new line, connecting northwest Zambia to the Lobito Atlantic Railway and the port of Lobito, represents the most significant transport infrastructure that the United States has helped develop on the African continent in a generation and will enhance regional trade and growth as well as advance the shared vision of connected, open-access rail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean,” says the Acting Special Coordinator for the Partnership on the Global Infrastructure Investment Helaina Matza.
The work includes the construction of a 550 km rail line in Zambia from the Jimbe border to Chingola in the Zambian Copperbelt, as well as 260 km of main feeder roads within the corridor.
“Demonstrating the [Partnership on Global Infrastructure] in action and leveraging both western and African capital, this strategic transport infrastructure unlocks regional trade and enables additional investments in digital connectivity, agriculture value chains, green energy supply chains and rural health center electrification, among other transformative economic imperatives,” said Special Coordinator Matza.
A feasibility study to determine the cost of the rail project is slated to begin before the end of the year.
The Lobito Corridor is expected to facilitate regional integration and grow trade across the countries of Angola, Zambia and the DRC and beyond, which will ultimately increase regional competitiveness and trade within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
The Partnership on Global Infrastructure is offering a credible alternative to low- and middle-income countries around the world to help meet their infrastructure needs. Developing a new multi-country transport infrastructure project that follows the highest international standards regarding labor, environment and quality is the centerpiece of this flagship economic development corridor – promising greater prosperity for the people of Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia.