South African countries Botswana and Zambia opened the $ 269 million Kazungula bridge in neighboring Zimbabwe, which could help ease congestion at one of Africa's busiest border crossings.
Zambian President Edgar Lungu, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa and President of the African Union (AfB) and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi are present at the opening ceremony of the 923-meter Kazungula Bridge on the Zambezi River. was found.
Lungu described this bridge as a very important initiative that facilitates the flow of goods and services and connects Zambia outside.
Botswana President Masisi, on the other hand, stated that his country sees Zambia as a key strategic partner in development and stated that this iconic project is an indication of the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Tshisekedi also noted that this bridge project is in line with the objectives of the AfB and the priority areas of the “Agenda 2063” project, which calls for a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.
Bostwana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who hosted the event, said that his country attaches great importance to the friendly bilateral relations that continue happily between the two countries, and that Bostwana sees Zambia as a key partner in development. "This bridge is a testament to the ever-increasing cooperation that exists between the two countries," said Masisi.
Among other heads of state attending the ceremony, Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi and Zimbabwe President Emerson Mnangagwa praised the project as a development for the entire African continent.
The Kazangula Bridge is known as an important regional integration project expected to increase its access to international markets through the connection with major ports in the South African region.
In August 2007, the governments of Zambia and Botswana reached an agreement to build a bridge to replace the existing ferry.
The construction of the $ 269 million Kazangula Bridge project, which connects Zambia and Botswana by road and rail, officially started on 12 October 2014. The bridge, whose opening was delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, was completed and put into service on May 10, 2021.
The construction was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the African Development Bank. The bridge, which is 923 meters long and 18.5 meters wide, has the longest span of 129 meters, connects the town of Kazungula in Zambia with Botswana.
The Kazungula Bridge, which was financed by the African Development Bank, cost approximately 269 million dollars.