Zimbabwe and Mozambique Join Forces to Boost Trade and Transport

A railway project that will boost trade and transport in Southern Africa

by Motoni Olodun

Zimbabwe and Mozambique have agreed to refurbish and extend a 10-kilometer railway line that connects the two countries, in a move that will enhance trade and transport in the region. The railway line, which runs from Machipanda to Mutare, is expected to be operational at the highest standards within the next three months, according to the transport ministers of both countries.

The ministers announced on Friday, after touring the Forbes and Machipanda border posts, where they also discussed other issues of cooperation in transport and transport infrastructure. The border posts are now operating round the clock, thanks to the efforts of the heads of state of both countries, who directed the ministers to move with speed and meet within two months.

The railway project is part of the broader rehabilitation of the Beira-Machipanda railway line, which was commissioned last November by President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe and President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique. The 318-kilometre railway line, which cost US$200 million to restore, links the port of Beira in Mozambique to Harare in Zimbabwe and beyond.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony in Manica, Mozambique, President Mnangagwa said the railway line would reduce transport costs and ease congestion at the border posts. He also hailed the unique history and friendship between the two countries, which fought together against colonialism and apartheid.

The railway line is part of the larger Beira-Bulawayo railway, which stretches for 850 kilometers and connects the city of Beira to the city of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. The railway was built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and has been a vital lifeline for trade and commerce in the region. However, it suffered from years of neglect and damage due to civil wars and natural disasters.

The refurbishment and extension of the railway line is expected to boost the economic recovery and development of both countries, which have been hit hard by the global pandemic and other challenges. The railway line will also facilitate the movement of goods and people within the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which has a population of over 300 million and a combined GDP of over US$700 billion.

The transport ministers of Zimbabwe and Mozambique expressed their satisfaction with the progress made so far and pledged to collaborate with various stakeholders, including the private sector and development partners, to ensure the success of the railway project. They also agreed to work on other initiatives, such as creating a parallel bridge at the border to enhance traffic flow and establishing a one-stop border post to promote ease of doing business.

The railway project is a testament to the strong bilateral relations and cooperation between Zimbabwe and Mozambique, which share a common vision of regional integration and prosperity. It is also a sign of hope and resilience for the people of both countries, who have endured many hardships and challenges but have never given up on their dreams of a better future.

Source: Club of Mozambique


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