The African Development Bank (ADB) has re-affirmed its continued support to Zambia’s Infrastructure development.
The projects that are likely to receive the Bank’s support include the construction of the Kazungula Bridge.
The Bridge, which is a joint project between Zambia and Botswana is expected to be jointly financed by AFDB and the Japanese Government although the two governments are also required to fund certain components of the project.
The Kazungula Bridge Project is part of the North-South Corridor which links Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) through Botswana and the port of Durban in South Africa.
The Africa Development Bank (ADB) also indicated willingness to consider the possibility of funding a railway line to connect Zambia to the Port of Lobito in Angola.
The railway line would be critical in facilitating regional and international trade and will be an important export route for bulk cargo such as copper whose production is projected to rise to over a million tonnes by 2015.
The construction of a railway line to link Zambia to the Port of Lobito in Angola would also save huge sums of money in transport costs. Currently, the Angola Government is rehabilitating the Benguela Railway.
Speaking when he met Minister of Finance and National Planning Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane in Washington DC, President of the Africa Development Bank (ADB) Dr. Donald Kaberuka said the two projects were key to Zambia’s economic development. He further stated that the projects were also important for regional integration.
Minister of Finance and National Development, Dr. Musokotwane informed the ADB President that Zambia was interested in the construction of the railway line to link it to the Benguela Rail system that leads to the Port of Lobito in Angola on the Atlantic Ocean.
He added that the Port of Lobito was a strategic infrastructure for the export of Zambian goods destined for Europe and America.
Dr. Musokotwane also requested the ADB to support financing of the Itezi-Tezhi Hydro Power and the Mpulungu Habour.
The Minister was accompanied to the meeting by the Special Assistant to the President (Economy and Development) Dr. Richard Chemce and the Bank of Zambia Governor, Dr. Caleb Fundanga