Botswana and Zambia on Monday jointly opened the Kazungula bridge, which is composed of a roadway and a rail track over the Zambezi river that connects the two countries as well as a one-stop border post.
The $259.3 million bridge, which is 923 meters long, is expected to facilitate access to international markets through connectivity with major seaports and to improve the efficiency of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the Kazungula bridge will pave the way for trade improvement, job creation and economic diversification in SADC countries. “By and large, that will significantly accelerate the SADC’s regional integration process, which we are vigorously pursuing.”
Zambian President Edgar Lungu said the bridge demonstrated excellent relations between the two countries.
“The Kazungula bridge project was worth the effort, (and) the transit traffic through Kazungula will greatly improve due to reduced transit time as well as improved trade facilitation measures and border management operations because of the inclusion of the one-stop border post,” he said.
Lungu further acknowledged financial support from the governments of China, South Korea, Japan and the African Development Bank.
The Kazungula project started in 2014 and the border post facility is expected to operate 22 hours per day.