Port of Nacala in Mozambique now linked to Zambia by rail

30 August 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 30 Aug – The Northern Development Corridor in Mozambique has since Friday been linked to Zambia with the inauguration of a section of railway between Mitsinje, in Malawi, and Chibatam, in Zambia, Mozambican newspaper Notícias reported.

The paper said negotiations were underway for transport of goods such as cotton and tobacco from Chipata to Nacala and fertilisers and fuel in the opposite direction.

The link to the sea via this railway represents around 600 kilometres less than the shortest alternative route. However, investments will have to be made in equipment, as there is strong commitment from the Malawian authorities to improve the railway.

At the inauguration ceremony for the line a protocol of understanding was signed by the Transport Ministers of Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia, as part of the Nacala Corridor initiative, which involves the three countries, in what was considered to be the most important act in this regional initiative.

A commercial agreement was also signed between Zambia Railways and Central East Africa Railways (CEAR), under the terms of which the operation of the section of railway in Zambia will be carried out using equipment from Malawi and staff from the railway company.

Fernando Amado Couto, the chief executive of CDN and coordinator of the corridor, said an agreement had already been made with a company that would promote the new possibility of transporting cargo and added that passenger transport was not planned thus far. (macauhub)