On the sidelines of the Africa Investment Forum, the African Development Bank and Africa50 signed on November 7, 2018, an agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo on the development and financing of the first railway bridge. road project linking their capitals – Kinshasa and Brazzaville.
Under the framework agreement, the two governments mandated Africa50 and the African Development Bank to develop the project as a public-private partnership. This bank will be the debt provider under the aegis of the Economic Community of Central African States. As lead developer, Africa50 will lead the development of the project, help select a strategic partner and provide equity for construction.
“The modernization of infrastructure in the Republic of Congo is one of our top priorities, especially transport, which can help us diversify our economy through increased trade and investment,” said Jean-Jacques Bouya , Minister of Great Works of the Republic of the Republic of Congo. “The positive socio-economic impacts of this project will be significant, boosting commercial and economic growth and creating jobs in the Republic of Congo and beyond.”
A $ 550 million project
Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, Minister of Planning of the Democratic Republic of Congo, added: “The construction of this bridge will not only connect cities, but will accelerate regional integration beyond our borders. The Democratic Republic of Congo is proud to be a partner in this effort, which is consistent with our vision of modernizing basic infrastructure. We look forward to working with Africa50, the African Development Bank and the Economic Community of Central African States. ”
This flagship project, part of the priority action plan of the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), consists of a 1,575-kilometer toll bridge on the Congo River. It will include a single railway line, a dual lane highway, sidewalks and a border control point at each end. It will be connected to existing road infrastructure in both countries. The cost estimate for 2017 was $ 550 million.
The bridge will improve transport networks between Kinshasa and Brazzaville. The two capitals closest to the world are currently connected only by ferries. Once the bridge is built, the current traffic, estimated at 750 000 people and 340 000 tonnes of freight per year, is expected to increase to more than 3 million people and 2 million tonnes of freight by 2025. two countries have been working for a long time on this crucial infrastructure project. They signed the initial protocols in 2007 and cooperated in carrying out the feasibility study with the African Development Bank.
On the waiting list since the 19 th century
Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, said: “The idea of linking the two capitals goes back to the middle of the 19th century. This project is only the beginning, others will follow. Pierre Guislain, Vice President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization of the African Development Bank, added, “This project is an example of what the Africa Investment Forum is: creating partnerships among African institutions. and the private sector for transformation projects. “Alain Ebobisse, CEO of Africa50, said:” Straddling two borders, this project presents unique and complex structuring and development challenges, requiring a solid and detailed PPP framework. . This is where our project development expertise can make the difference. With the councils of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo; and with the support of the African Development Bank and ECCAS, we are confident that this transformation project will be realized in a few years. “
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