|August 26, 2007
New rail link to boost Southern African trade
Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa and his Malawian counterpart have launched a long-delayed joint rail project that is expected to help boost trade in the region. The line will link Zambia to the existing Nacala rail line from Malawi to the Mozambique coast. According to Mwanawasa, the venture would become the shortest and cheapest mode of transport for Zambia. He said the $12-million project, in the pipeline since 1982, is expected to be commissioned by December 2008, and he apologised on behalf of his country for the delay in completing the rail. "You have waited for 25 years, but this time it is going to be done. This is a promise I am making," Mwanawasa was quoted as saying at the launch of the undertaking.
Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika attended the launch, while Mozambique's President Armando Guebuza was awaited in the Zambian border railhead town of Chipata. The 26km link will connect Chipata to the Malawian town of Mchinji, from where existing track will take trains to and from the Indian Ocean port of Nacala in Mozambique.