The government of Zambia is set to receive US $2.03bn loan from the Exim Bank of China for Chipata-Serenje Railway project. Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Vincent Mwale confirmed the report and said that construction of the railway line will commence after financial closure is reached.
The 389 km rail project is set to be an important part of the integrated southern African transportation system, which connects Zambia with Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Mozambique.It will provide an alternative trade route to the east coast of Africa via the port of Nacala in Mozambique.
Chipata-Serenje Railway project
China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation was single-sourced for the project as one of the terms of the agreement while the Ministry of Infrastructure will oversee the construction. About 8,000 direct jobs will be created during the construction period.
Upon completion in four years, the rail line would ease exports and imports “This project is important in that it is going to link Chipata-Muchinji railway to the TAZARA railway line, basically connecting one corridor to the other.
It will also provide the shortest route of 1500 km to the sea from Kapiri-Mposhi. We are going to have Great East Road connected all the way to Dar-Es-Salam,” said Development Minister Vincent Mwale.
“There is so much value in that it will help ease exports and imports but at the same time reduce the burden that government has, spending money repairing roads that are so costly and easily get damaged because of goods that are transported through the road. The line will provide a link from mining, agricultural and industrial production centers with distant markets as well as a link for transportation of mining inputs, agricultural inputs and industrial raw materials,” Vincent Mwale added.