Malawi to revive US $3.9bn Nsanje World Inland Port project

The government of Malawi has revealed plans to revive the US $3.9bn Nsanje World Inland Port project in Nsanje District. President Peter Mutharika disclosed the reports and said the project awaits approval from neighboring Mozambique government.

“My government is ready to revive the construction work of the Nsanje Port and funds are available for the project, but we are only waiting for our colleagues from Mozambique to grant us permission,” said President Peter Mutharika.

The Nsanje World Inland Port

The Nsanje World Inland Port, is about 238 km from Chinde. It is one of the flagship projects in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 2014 manifesto. Nsanje District Assembly is found at the tip of Southern Malawi where Malawi shares borders with Mozambique.

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The site was selected because of the wider width of the river as it connects to Zambezi River offering a better place for the port. However, since 2010 the port has been in a deplorable state. It is a neglected site depicting an abandoned dockyard with the Shire River choked by weeds.

In 2015, Mozambique Minister of Transport Carlos Mesquita said the viability of the waterway project could only be assessed if the consultant determines the behavior of water levels in the Shire and Zambezi rivers.

Reduction in transport costs

Currently Malawi uses Beira and Nacala port in Mozambique from which transporters cover a return distance of about 1700km from Blantyre. Upon completion of the Nsanje port, transporters now will cover a distance of 238km for a return journey to Blantyre as opposed to Beira port. This will result into a reduction in transport costs and benefit the Malawians who depend on agriculture for their economy.

The project will additionally provide Malawi with a multi modal transport linkage to other land locked countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia. Malawi also expects to save US $175m of its total annual import bill when the new port becomes fully operational.

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