ZAMBIA and Botswana have invited bids for the construction of Kazungula Bridge on Zambezi River at an estimated cost of US$260 million (about K1.3 trillion).
The project would be financed partly through a loan of $80 million signed on February 10, this year between Zambia and the African Development Bank.
The Botswana government would meet part of the cost while another partner expected to come on board was the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).According to an advertisement by
The Kazungula Bridge Project Office in Kasane, the expression of interest is for consultancy services and the project was expected to be completed in six years.
Consultancy services would include design review, production of bidding documentation, supervision of works and post-construction services.
The bridge was expected to significantly improve trade infrastructure of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African continent as a whole.
One-stop border facilities will be erected in both countries with a 930-metre-long and 18.5-metre-wide road-rail bridge.
The facility would provide vital transport infrastructure on that corridor as it would facilitate easy access to intra-regional trade and international market through connectivity with major sea ports.
It is envisaged that the bridge would maximise operational efficiency of the corridor and promote social and economic integration of the two countries.
The Zambezi River poses a significant barrier to movement of goods in the whole of southern Africa, affecting traffic between South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Congo, Tanzania and Malawi.
This is according to a memorandum outlining the rationale behind the project.
The Kazungula Bridge is, therefore, expected to enhance transportation of goods along the regional North-South Corridor that links the two mineral-rich countries, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the port of Durban in South Africa.
[Times of Zambia]