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The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has released $71mn to the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) to finance the upgrading of five major roads in Zambia
The amount was part of the $262mn DBSA has loaned the Agency for works on five priority roads – Chipata – Lundazi, Kalulushi – Lufwanyama, Kabompo – Chavuma, Mumbwa – Landless Corner and Senanga – Sesheke, three of which form part of the Trans-African Highways route running from Cape Town to the DRC’s Katanga Province and beyond, a statement issued by NRFA public relations officer Alphonsius Hamachila says.
Through road development, areas of high economic potential normally out of reach, would become accessible and attract potential investors in agriculture, mining, tourism in addition to unlocking other opportunities for industrial developments, the statement added.
Linking the country
These road projects link up parts of Eastern, Western, North-Western and Southern Zambia to the western side of the North – South Corridor, thus opening up more economic trade with Angola, Botswana, DRC, Malawi, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. In Western Province, the road project under construction is the 221km Senanga – Sesheke road with a contract sum of ZMK 780bn. “This road project forms a vital link in respect of shortening the distance between Lubambashi and Walvis Bay via Solwezi, Mongu and Katima Mulilo. In North – Western Province, the road project is the 239 km Kabompo – Chavuma road at an estimated cost of ZMK 290bn,” he pointed out.
In Central Province, the selected road project was the 115km stretch of the Mumbwa – Landless Corner which was being upgraded to paved road at a cost of ZMK180bn. On the Copperbelt, the road project to be paved was the 60km of the Kalulushi – Lufwanyama road (yet to be contracted) at an estimated cost of ZMK130bn while in Eastern Province, it was the upgrading of the remaining 91km of the Chipata – Lundazi road and 15km of selected urban roads in Lundazi at a cost of ZMK97bn . Zambia is a key transit country in the North - South Corridor, as it sits in between borders of eight countries in the region.