The Kazungula Bridge project in Southern Africa is set to be opened for the public soon. The initial objective of the Bridge which is constructed between the corridors of Zambia and Botswana, is to improve the infrastructure at Kazungula such that transit time between borders is reduced.
On commissioning, the project will facilitate increased trade activity as well as improving the integration of the Zambia and Botswana economies, including their global competitiveness.
Three regional presidents; Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, Seretse Khama of Botswana and Edgar Lungu of Zambia, have inspected the progress on the multi-million-dollar Kazungula Bridge in Kasane, which upon completion will enhance intra-regional trade within the SADC region and beyond.
During the inspection Botswana and Zambia agreed to allow Zimbabwe to be part of the Kazungula bridge project through the Zambezi river, in phase II of the project.
The development was revealed during a press briefing by Botswana Transport and Communication Minister Kitso Mokaila, Zimbabwean Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Joram Gumbo and Zambian Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Ronald Chitotela.
The three countries further agreed to put up a one-stop border post at Kazungula in Zambia’s Southern province.
The decision was made after President Edgar Lungu held talks with Botswana’s President, Lieutenant-General Seretse Khama and Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
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.
The US $229.6m project was co-financed by the Japanese Development Agency (JICA), in the form of loans to both Zambia and Botswana. Botswana and Zambia each provided counterpart financing. Also, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is partially providing financial boost towards the project.
Botswana and Zambia are the major players towards the project, contributing nearly 40% of the GDP of sub-Saharan African, equivalent to US $340bn.
The handover of the project to the two governments is expected in March 2019.