Zambia, Namibia to link rails



ZAMBIA wants to link its railway line to that of Namibia to fully utilise the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor (WBNLC) and has asked that country to extend its line to Katima Mulilo border.
And the authorities on the WBNLC will set up industrial clusters along the passage to transform it into the economic engine for the region.
Officiating at a recent meeting, dubbed “the information session of the WBCG,” organised by the WBCG in Lusaka, Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary Stephen Mwansa said Zambia was committed to the connection of the two railway lines.
“We would like to take this opportunity to urge our Namibian counterparts to urgently consider bringing the railway line up to Katima Mulilo in the shortest possible time for our countries and their people to benefit,” he said.
In a speech read for him by the ministry’s acting director of domestic trade, Sunday Chikoti, Mr Mwansa said the government was concerned about the progress on the Zambian dry port in Namibia.
During the meeting, it was learnt that scoping studies on mining, agriculture, tourism and infrastructure development were underway along the corridor.
Mr Mwansa the Zambian government would support the formation of these industrial clusters because they were in line with its vision.
The WBNLC, which is one of the three corridors under the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) stretches from the port of Walvis Bay in Nambia to Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo through Zambia.
“We are thrilled to learn that you are now working with the African Development Bank to perform scoping studies on projects in mining agriculture, tourism and infrastructure development to transform the WBNLC into an economic development corridor.
“This will work well with my government’s vision through the ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, which is developing industrial clusters and improving the unemployment situation in our country,” he said.
During the same occasion Namibian High Commissioner to Zambia Salomon Witbooi said the project on the establishment of the Zambian dry port at Walvis Bay was on course.
He said plans to link that country’s railway network to Zambia’s were also active, adding that Katima Mulilo will be connected to Grootfontein, while on the Zambian side Mulobezi will be connected to Livingstone.