Following African countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and others, Zambia has ordered a Chinese-built railway of its own.
Its government signed a deal worth $2.3bn yesterday with China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) to build a 388km railway to link up with Malawi’s network.
Set to be finished in four years, the new rail link is expected to relieve the pressure of freight haulage on Zambia’s damaged roads.
"This project aims at enhancing regional trade and transport competitiveness by providing an alternative trade route to the East Coast of Africa via the Port of Nacala in Mozambique," Zambia’s transport minister Brian Mushimba said at a signing ceremony in Lusaka, Xinhua reports.
The railway will run from the eastern town of Chipata to the central town of Serenje via another eastern town of Petauke.
Mushimba said the project is meant to enhance regional and international trade through the Nacala Development Corridor, which involves Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.
The project is one of the infrastructure projects the government intends to implement through the $60bn China-Africa Cooperation framework announced by the Chinese government last year.
Image: The new rail link is expected to relieve the pressure of freight haulage on Zambia’s damaged roads (Wikimedia Commons)