A Chinese firm is set to begin the constructing of a 388.8 kilometres railway line worth $2.3 billion. The line will link Zambia’s eastern part to the north.
The Zambian government signed a $2.3 billion deal to finance engineering, designing and construction of 388.8 km Chipata-Petauke-Serenje Railway line.
Zambia Transport and Communication Minister Brian Mushimba said 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.
Once completed, the Chipata-Petauke-Serenje Railway project will provide the shortest route of 1500km to the sea from Kapiri Mposhi.”
The Chinese have invested heavily in Zambia’s mining sector, hospitality and were still expanding in other sectors.
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.