Botswana News

Mozambique: Nyusi Attends Inauguration of Kazangula Bridge

Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi declared on Monday that the Kazungula Bridge, over the Zambezi River, linking Zambia and Botswana, will remove physical barriers in the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region, and will consolidate regional cooperation.

Nyusi, who is the current chairperson of SADC, was speaking at the inauguration of the 923 metre long road and rail bridge, which cost 230 million dollars, financed by the Zambian and Botswanan governments, the African Development Bank (ADB) and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Cited in a statement released by his office, Nyusi stressed that SADC member countries have been building national economic and technological infrastructures which have an impact on regional integration, in order to facilitate interconnections between the members, in line with the vision expressed in the regional integration master plan.

The Kazangula Bridge is a key link in SADC’s north-south corridor. It will allow countries in the northern part of the region to reach South African and Namibian ports without going through Zimbabwe.

Previously the link between Zambia and Botswana was only guaranteed by two ferry boats. The bridge will clearly generate much greater levels of traffic. Gone will be the days when queues of trucks built up to use the ferries. It is expected that transit time will be reduced from 36 hours to two hours.

Nyusi said that, in addition to its economic and social value, the bridge could lead to security gains, such as mitigating smuggling and drug trafficking in the region. But care had to be taken to ensure that the bridge is not used by criminals themselves.