Kazungula Bridge: The Trade Link
For a bridge to be opened up by 5 heads of state, makes it a big deal. The Kazungula road and rail bridge was on Monday 10th May 2021 officially opened up for use. The 923 meter bridge across the Zambezi River provides a faster link between Zambia and Botswana.
The Kazungula Bridge will boost trade between the two countries and the entire North Africa bloc. The construction which began in October 2014 was completed this year and is said to have cost $ 260.00 million. It has a One-stop border point (OSBP) that links Zambia and Botswana
The bridge was commissioned by President Edgar Lungu of Zambia and President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana. In attendance were President Felipe Nyusi of Mozambique, Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe and President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Zambia and Botswana agreed in principle to include Zimbabwe in the project. Initially, the former Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe did not want to be part of the deal; he said that the two countries did not have a land border. This led to the alteration of the initial building design plan.
Felix Tapiwa Mhona one of the MPs, once termed the construction as a “conspiracy.” He further claimed that the bridge would draw away resources from the Beitbridge border post which is in Zimbabwe.
President Mnangagwa stated that Zimbabwe was going to be part of the project which is set to accelerate the region’s integration efforts.