Bids invited for Kazungula Bridge
Lusaka – Selection of bidders for construction of the plus-US$250 million Kazungula Bridge to link Zambia and Botswana will be done by September this year. A US$280 million loan facility available, with financing provided by – among others – the Zambia and Botswana governments, the African Development Bank and Japan’s state aid agency, JICA.
Zambia Road Development Agency chair, Bernard Chiwala, this week said the tender process was in the final phase.
The successful bidder(s) will build the 200m bridge across the Zambezi River.
The bridge will also benefit Zimbabwe and Namibia.
“The ground breaking ceremony takes place by September 2014 and we expected the bridge to be completed and commissioned by 2016,” said Chiwala.
Construction will create 24 000 jobs between 2014 and 2016.
The bridge is a key infrastructure project that SADC hopes will boost regional integration through increased trade among bloc member states.
It will offer a one-stop border facility and also have a rail bridge.
An international trade expert based in Zambia, Trevor Simumba, is hopeful that the bridge will be constructed on schedule as the Zambezi River remains a huge barrier to enhanced economic ties within the SADC region.
The Zambezi River, without proper infrastructure, constricts trade in and between Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, the DRC and Malawi in one way or the other. This in turn affects the other members of SADC.
Accroding to Simuumba, the Kazungula Bridge will provide easier access to markets along the North-South Corridor that links the two mineral-rich countries of Zambia and the DRC, as well as provide a shorter route to the Port of Durban in South Africa.