After nearly 7 years, The Kazungula Bridge and Border Project, jointly funded by Zambia and Botswana, was officially put into operation on May 10, 2021. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana, Edgar Lungu, President Zambia, Felix Tshisekedi, President of DR Congo, Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique, Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe, and other dignitaries such as Nangolo Mbumba, Vice-President of Namibia, and Themba Masuku, Acting Prime Minister of Swaziland, attended the inauguration ceremony and cut the ribbon.
Presidents of the five African countries attended the inauguration ceremony of the Kazungula Bridge and Border Project. The picture shows the scene of ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Source: CJIC)
All the leaders of African countries present at the event spoke highly of the positive effects of the project and the milestone impact it has brought to the development of southern Africa.
The world's only boundary that four territories meet. (Source: www.thepaper.cn)
It is learned that the Kazungula Bridge is located at the border of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia. There are many boundaries in the world that three territories meet, such as the "Golden Triangle" area where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet and the Tumen River mouth area that serves as part of the boundary between China, North Korea and Russia. However, this boundary of four territories seems quite rare and even unique in the world at present. Kazungula Bridge is a six-tower cable-stayed bridge, which is composed of a roadway and a rail track, with a total length of 923m, a width of 18.5m and a maximum span of 129m, costing USD 240 million. Construction of the bridge was commenced in October 2014 and completed in October 2020.
The main works of the Kazungula Bridge were undertaken by Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. (Daewoo E&C) of South Korea. (Source: www.vslchina.com.cn)
Apart from the construction of the main bridge, the Kazungula Bridge Project also includes the Kazungula Border Project. And the project was undertaken by China Jiangxi International Economic and Technical Cooperation Co., Ltd. The project is located in Kazungula Village, Chobe District, northern Botswana, at the boundary of four countries: Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe. It is an important transportation hub from South Africa through Botswana to countries like Zambia, Angola and DR Congo, as well as the second section of the Kazungula Bridge Project. The project was mainly for the construction of the one-stop border facilities covering an area of 20 hectares, including a Passenger Terminal, a Freight Terminal, cargo transit scanning facilities, a border police station, a concrete truck parking area of 16,000 square meters and other outdoor works, such as asphalt concrete paving works for 7.5km of roads (80,000㎡) for the site area, approach road and Zimbabwean border road. In November 2020, this one-stop border project has been successfully handed over and obtained the completion certificate.
The Kazungula One Stop Border Post. (Source: CJIC)
President Mokgweetsi Masisi expressed special thanks to China Jiangxi International Economic and Technical Cooperation Co., Ltd. (CJIC) in his opening speech. He said, "(China) CJIC and all its staff have made every effort to overcome the adverse impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, achieved the completion target of the Border Post Project as scheduled and presented it perfectly in front of us, which deserves our gratitude and respect."
It is reported that before the official opening of the Kazungula Bridge, transit of goods between Zambia and Botswana was mainly done by ferry, and the efficiency of customs clearance was very low. The transit usually took several days or even a week, and it was the most common to see trucks waiting in a long line at the border. With the opening of the Kazungula Bridge and the One Stop Border Post, the transit of goods and customs clearance formalities can be completed within half a day.
The opening of the Kazungula Bridge will further strengthen the economic activities of other inland countries such as Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique and DR Congo, promote trade and commerce among these countries, and greatly strengthen economic and trade exchanges among southern African countries. As stated by the African leaders attending the inauguration ceremony of the Kazungula Bridge and Border Project, the opening of the Kazungula Bridge and the operation of the One Stop Border Post have provided a more efficient and convenient channel for political, economic, and cultural exchanges among the countries of southern Africa, which marks the beginning of cooperation and integration among the countries of southern Africa has entered a new era.
Further Reviewed by: Zhao Yuhui and Jiang Yongfeng
Reviewed by: Chen Jue
Edited by: Wang Xin