Construction of a 388.8 kilometres railway line that will link Zambia’s eastern part to the north is set to begin after the country’s government signed a $2.3b deal with a Chinese firm.
The deal will finance engineering, designing and construction of the 388.8km Chipata-Petauke-Serenje railway line, the Africa Review reports.
According to Zambia’s Transport and Communication Minister Brian Mushimba the project was part of the Chinese government pledge of $60 billion to boost cooperation with Africa for the period of 2016-2018.
The project will be completed in four years.
“This project is meant to enhance regional and international trade through the Nacala development corridor with a direct economic stimulus in Zambia,Malawi and Mozambique,”said Mr Mushimba.
“This project will provide an alternative route for heavy cargo transportation and reduce the damage on our roads.
Upon completion, the Chipata-Petauke-Serenje Railway project will provide the shortest route of 1500km to the sea from Kapiri Mposhi.”
Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Yang Youming, said the Chinese government was optimistic to see the project commence soon.
The railway line was going to provide an alternative trade route to the East Coast of Africa via the Port of Nacala in Mozambique.