Zambia - AfDB approves US$ 243 million loans for the rehabilitation of Chinsali-Nakonde Road

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved a US $193-million Bank loan and a US$ 50-million loan from Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), to support the rehabilitation of the Chinsali-Nakonde road, a section of the North-South Corridor in Zambia, connecting Tanzania.

The project aims to improve road transport infrastructure and services as well as reduce transport costs between northern Zambia and southern Tanzania. It is also expected to provide efficient, cost-effective and fully integrated transport infrastructure and operations that addresses the needs of users and promotes socio-economic development.

It comprises the reconstruction of the 210-km road between Chinsali and Nakonde; institutional support and capacity building; and resettlement and compensation.  The civil works component also covers social infrastructure that includes the rehabilitation of 50 kilometres of feeder roads, construction of truck stops/ rest station at three locations to improve road safety and stimulate local trading opportunities. The project also includes sensitisation on HIV/AIDS and environmental protection, as well as road safety; training opportunities for youth and women in road maintenance; and technical assistance to support specific aspects in the road sub-sector in Zambia, such as the operationalisation of the road maintenance strategy.

The Chinsali-Nakonde road is a strategic national and regional road link that forms a section of both the North-South Corridor, which traverses eight countries and the Trans-Africa Highway (Cape to Cairo). The road section connects northern Zambia to Tanzania, and provides connectivity and access to the sea for landlocked Zambia. It links the port of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania to the Copper-belt in Southern Democratic Republic of Congo and Northern Zambia. It also connects the Copper-belt to the southern ports of South Africa. The present degraded condition of the road, which was constructed in the 1970s, is an impediment to national and regional mobility.

The rehabilitation project is aligned with the government’s 2014-2016 Mid-Term Expenditure Framework and the 2013-2016 Revised Sixth National Development Plan, as well as the 2030 National Long Term Vision. It is also consistent with the first pillar of the Economic Diversification through Infrastructure Development of the revised Country Strategy Paper as well as the objectives of the Bank’s 2013-2022 Strategy.

With a total cost estimated at US $255.76 million; the AfDB and AGTF loans represent 75.5% and 19.5% of the costs, respectively. Zambia’s government is expected to provide the remaining 5% or US $12.76 million in the form of counterpart funding.