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Tunis, December 3rd, 2008 - The Board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group met on Wednesday, December 3, 2008, and approved an African Development Fund (ADF) grant of UA* 5 million, equivalent to US$ 7.45 million, to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Republic of Congo (RC) for the financing of a study on the road-railway bridge between Kinshasa and Brazzaville and a feasibility study on the Kinshasa-Ilebo railway.
The grant will finance the feasibility study and final design of a road-railway bridge to link the cities of Kinshasa and Brazzaville, including terminal facilities, as well as connecting access roads to existing road and railway networks in both cities. It will also finance a feasibility study of the Kinshasa-Ilebo railway (1,015 km).
The overall objective of the study is to design infrastructure that will improve regional transport and trade systems and ensure the smooth flow of railway traffic from Matadi and Pointe-Noire to the eastern border of the DRC and, beyond that, towards the eastern and southern parts of Africa (Zambia, Tanzania, SAR, Uganda, Rwanda…). The infrastructure will in the longer term facilitate railway network connections in Central, Eastern and Southern Africa.
Implementation of the project will reduce the time taken to cross the River Congo, strengthen and increase the free movement of people and goods within the region; eliminate disruptions in the road and rail transport, improve the efficiency of transport services and reduce associated costs.
The construction of the transport infrastructure will promote trade between the DRC and the RC, improve road and rail transport flows through the Cameroon-Gabon-RC-DRC corridor, and strengthen regional integration and trade within Central Africa and with the Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa regions.
On a larger scale, the project will help ensure flow of goods and people along the Tripoli-Windhoek Corridor, adopted under the NEPAD Short-Term Action Plan.
The study will be jointly financed by the ADF (98.7%) and the governments of the DRC (6.76%) and the RC (1.37%). The sixteen month is expected to be completed in August 2009.
*1 Unit of Account (UA) = $US 1.49