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The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessionary arm of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, approved on Tuesday, December 3 a loan of US $65.0 million and a grant of US $900,000 to Malawi, and a loan of US $7.7 million to Zambia, respectively, for a total of about US $73.6 million, for the Multinational Nacala Road Corridor Development Project Phase IV. The facilities constitute part of the Fund’s contribution towards strengthening Malawi and Zambia’s transport infrastructure to promote inclusive growth and expand trade and regional integration.
The project is a continuation of the Nacala Road Development Corridor being supported by the AfDB in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia, respectively. Phase IV will involve rehabilitation of a 75-kilometre road between Liwonde and Mangochi and the establishment of One-Stop Border Posts at Chiponde and Mchinji at the Malawi-Mozambique and Malawi-Zambia borders, respectively.
Under the four phases of the project, more than 900 km of road are under construction or rehabilitation in the three countries. The project has been a model of donor cooperation. AfDB financing of the corridor has been crucial in bringing other co-financing partners such the European Union, the European Investment Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency and Korea Exim Bank.
The Nacala corridor at its completion will be one of the most cost-effective routes to the sea for imports and exports from Malawi, Zambia and western Mozambique. It will also contribute significantly to boosting intra-regional trade and integrating the economies of the Southern African Development Community region.
The project is expected to generate more than 400 temporary jobs and about 100 permanent jobs. It is anticipated that 70 per cent of the jobs will be taken up by youth and 25 per cent by women. In addition, three roadside markets will be constructed at convenient locations along the road to provide business opportunities to small-scale traders for which 60 per cent are women. The project will also provide for training of women traders in export and import processing and entrepreneur skills.