The United States of America’s investment in the Lobito Corridor rail line has been hailed as a significant development by Hon. Museba Frank Tayali, the Minister of Transport and Logistics in Zambia. The announcement was made by President Joe Biden during the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) Meeting held in Hiroshima, Japan.
President Biden revealed that the United States has already mobilized over $30 billion in investments and is committed to furthering its efforts. This declaration has been welcomed by the Zambian government, particularly the New Dawn Administration, as it aligns with their vision of unlocking the region’s business potential and stimulating economic growth through private sector involvement.
Hon. Tayali expressed his satisfaction with President Biden’s remarks, emphasizing that they demonstrate the high level of importance and confidence the G7 and its member states place in the Lobito Corridor. He believes that this investment will have far-reaching positive impacts across multiple sectors in the region.
President Biden outlined the United States’ plans to support the development of the Lobito Corridor through an initial investment in a rail expansion project. This railway is set to become the primary open-access transportation infrastructure connecting the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Zambia to global markets via Angola. The President also mentioned the PGII’s pursuit of additional opportunities to connect the initial Lobito Corridor investments to Tanzania and ultimately the Indian Ocean.
Describing the railway project, President Biden stated, “The rail line would extend from the western shores of Angola to the border of the DRC and Zambia, with the goal of ultimately reaching the Indian Ocean, connecting the continent east to west for the first time.” He emphasized the project’s potential to facilitate trade, create jobs, strengthen supply chains, incentivize investments in agriculture, promote food security, and enable access to clean energy and digital connectivity.
President Biden stressed the importance of investing in key economic corridors, highlighting their potential to provide long-term dividends. As part of the initial investments, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is conducting due diligence for a potential financing package of $250 million to finance the Lobito Atlantic Railway Corridor. This marks the DFC’s first investment in rail infrastructure on the continent and is expected to pave the way for increased trading and economic activity between Angola and the DRC, while also promoting investments in agriculture, digital infrastructure, and expanded access to electricity.
The Zambian government and stakeholders in the region are optimistic about the transformative impact of the USA’s investment in the Lobito Corridor rail line. The project has the potential to spur economic growth, improve regional connectivity, and create opportunities for generations to come. With the support of international partners like the United States, the Lobito Corridor is poised to become a crucial trade route, connecting the African continent from east to west and opening doors for enhanced cooperation and development.