Angola: Zambian president shows interest in rebuilding Benguela railway

20 March 2008

Lobito, Angola, 20 March – The President of Zambia, Levy Mwanawasa, said Wednesday in Lobito that his country was interested in contributing to the refurbishment of the Benguela railway as it will make it easier to distribute Zambian goods.

According to Angolan news agency Angop, the Zambian president showed his interest at the end of a visit to the port of Lobito, on a tour of the province of Benguela, as part of a 72-hour visit to Angola, at the invitation of his Angolan counterpart, José Eduardo dos Santos.

Mwanawasa noted the efforts made by the Angolan government to refurbish the Benguela railway in order to complement the Port of Lobito, a strategic infrastructure for distribution and export of Zambian goods.

The port of Lobito, which is the second largest port in Angola, has the capacity to unload between 1,000 and 1,200 tons pf cargo per day. Every month it receives between 30 and 60 ships. The Benguela railway, CFB, begins at this port and links it with the East African coast.

The port was, in the past, Angola’s main port, particularly because its was CFB’s ocan terminal and its potential is still enormous despite the fact that the civil war practically cut off access to the interior and consequently to the ore mined in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

The port process around 600,000 tons of cargo per, mainly grain for milling and raw materials for the Catumbela industrial complex, including flour, rice and construction materials and equipment for the cities of Lobito and Benguela.

Zambia shares 1,110 kilometres of land and river borders with Angola. (macauhub)