Botswana and Zambia in Southern Africa have officially opened the US $260m Kazungula bridge. Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Zambian President Edgar Lungu presided over the ceremony to mark the opening of Kazungula. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa also attended the ceremony.
The 923m road and rail bridge is expected to alleviate congestion at one of Africa’s busiest border crossings in neighbouring Zimbabwe. It will offer a faster and cheaper alternative to a route via Beitbridge on Zimbabwe’s border with South Africa. Kazungula has a one-stop border facility located near the quadripoint that links Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Kazungula Bridge project is a multi-national project in the North-South Corridor and is part of an infrastructure improvement programme that covers the whole corridor. The project includes a bridge linking Botswana and Zambia over the Zambezi River to replace the existing ferry, and a one-stop border facility at Kazungula.
Construction of the bridge by Daewoo Engineering and Construction started back in November 2015 after the ground-breaking ceremony was held on the Botswana side of the Kazungula border. The ground-breaking ceremony was led by Vice President Guy Scott and his Botswana counterpart, Ponatshego Kedikilwe.
The bridge is expected to significantly improve trade infrastructure of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African continent as a whole. One-stop border facilities will be erected in both countries with a 930-metre-long and 18.5-metre-wide road-rail bridge.
The bridge would provide vital transport infrastructure on that corridor as it would facilitate easy access to intra-regional trade and international market through connectivity with major sea ports.