Zambia and Botswana on Monday launched a bridge that links the two countries, with Zambian President Edgar Lungu commending China and other cooperating partners for financing the project.
The 923-meter-long Kazungula Bridge has been described as a game-changer in promoting trade not only between the two countries but the entire southern African region.
The 259.3 million U.S. dollars bridge comprises a bridge across the Zambezi River, and one border post of the two country’s sides. It started construction in 2014.
Lungu, who commissioned the bridge on the Zambian side, said the project would not have become a reality without the financial support of China, Japan, South Korea and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
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“This multi-million-dollar project required diverse resources and input for the vision to become a reality,” he said.
According to him, the project exemplifies the essence of development cooperation and embodies the spirit of solidarity on the global platform.
The construction of the bridge, he said, will improve traffic transit due to reduced border transit time as well as improved trade facilitation measures and border management operations due to the inclusion of a one border post.
This will lower the cost of doing business and this, in turn, will result in an increase in trade and competitiveness, job creation, tourism, and other positive ripple effects, he added.
The Zambian leader further said the completion of the bridge was timely as it will facilitate increased intra-African trade and regional and continental integration.
Botswanan President Mokgweetsi Masisi opened the one border post on the Botswana side.