See also:
» 17.03.2011 - Southern Africa to get infrastructure master plan
» 19.10.2009 - SADC responds to Tsvangirai's call
» 16.10.2009 - SA teams up with neighbours for a clean environment
» 15.10.2009 - Zambia becomes agric support hub for Southern Africa
» 21.09.2009 - SADC partnership could solve energy shortage by 2016
» 07.09.2009 - SADC shifts Zim for special summit
» 04.09.2009 - Southern Africa Trust to collaborate with Mauritius
» 03.09.2009 - African police chiefs to strengthen collaboration with INTERPOL

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Southern Africa | Zambia
Economy - Development | Politics

Major boost for regional trade route link

afrol News, 6 April - The British government has today announced a huge boost to the North-South corridor improvement that will see a major facelift on transport networks from South Africa to Tanzania.

The dream project received thumbs up from major funders today at the funding summit held in Lusaka, Zambia, bringing heads of states from the Southern African hub, together with the East and Central African states before major donors and funders.

Through its Department of International Development (DFID), the British government committed 100 million pounds for major infrastructural development to boost trade routes in the region, with the other partners expected to commit to the rest of the over US$ 1 billion needed for the ambitious project.

The north-south corridor, linking South Africa in the south to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania in the north, and connecting all routes to the ports on the Atlantic and Indian oceans, will cover more than 5,000 miles of roads need to be rebuilt or improved.

The project will be financed by public and private investors, including the World Bank, European Commission, regional economic communities and development agencies, the DFID said.

"The north-south corridor will improve transport networks and encourage new investment that will, over time, increase prosperity and reduce poverty in the region," UK Trade Minister Gareth Thomas said in Lusaka.

The European Commission also announced a pledge of 115 million euros to the infrastructure project. "It's very clear that Africa is being hit by wave after wave of aftershocks from the financial crisis," said EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel.

"This regional response to free-up trade and stimulate growth and jobs is essential at this time and for the long-term development of Africa's economy."

The corridor aims to remove trade bottlenecks in eight countries: Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa.

Zambia's President Rupiah Banda, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni were some of the heads of states at the Lusaka meeting today, aimed at lobbying for funding for the project.

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