President Hakainde Hichilema attended the official handover ceremony of the Lobito Corridor operations in Angola, at the invitation of President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço of Angola.
The event, which marked a significant milestone in the partnership between the two countries, took place at the Port of Lobito in Benguela Province on Tuesday, 4th July, 2023.
The concessioning of the Lobito Port and railway line will be operated under a Special Purpose Vehicle.
President Hichilema’s presence at the ceremony highlighted the importance of the Lobito Corridor as a critical infrastructure project for Zambia.
This corridor serves as vital pathway for the free movement of goods and services, providing an alternative route to export markets. By linking key mining regions to the sea, the corridor offers new opportunities for economic growth and development. Notably, it covers Copperbelt and North-Western Provinces, enabling the establishment of small businesses near railway transport and offering a competitive mode of transportation compared to traditional road networks.
The Lobito Corridor infrastructure encompasses the Benguela Railway line, the Port of Lobito, and border facilities between Zambia and Angola, as well as Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Additionally, plans are underway to connect the Benguela Railway to Zambia at the Jimbe border, further enhancing regional connectivity.
By concessioning the Lobito Corridor, Angola, Zambia, and the DRC expect to attract private financing for substantial investments in transport infrastructure, machinery, and equipment. This approach will help alleviate the financial burden on the state while generating employment opportunities and stimulating economic growth. Furthermore, a fully operational corridor is expected to have a positive impact on household incomes and revolutionise cultural and tourism activities.
President Hichilema returned to Lusaka on same day, Tuesday 4th July, 2023 immediately after his engagements.