Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have signed a Cooperation Framework that will culminate into the construction of the 165 kilometer road connecting the Town of Kolwezi in the DRC and Lumwana in Zambia.
The agreement was signed by Road Development Agency Director and Chief Executive Officer, George Manyele on behalf of Zambia while DRC’s Lualaba Provincial Minister of Infrastructure, Paulin Kapend signed for his country.
The signing ceremony which was held at the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development was witnessed by Permanent Secretary in the Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, Danny Mfune and Visiting DRC Lualaba Province Acting Governor Fifi Saini.
According to the Cooperation Framework, the two countries have agreed to construct a connecting paved road between Kolwezi Town in the DRC to Lumwana West in Zambia via Sakambinda/Kambimba border posts.
The initial estimated length of the road is 165 kilometers of which 90 kilometers will be on the Zambian side and 75 kilometers in the DRC.
The project also involves construction of four bridges, one stop border post facilities at Kambimba in Zambia and Sakabinda in the DRC.
According to the Cooperation framework, the Lualaba Provincial Administration and the DRC Central Government will finance the project as shareholders using the Public Private Partnership approach.
And, Speaking after the signing ceremony, Mr Mfune said the signing of the cooperation agreement is an important development in as far as the two countries are concerned.
He assured the DRC delegation that the project is receiving maximum attention from the highest level of Government.
And Ms Saini said the DRC is excited with the development as that was an instruction from President Hakainde Hichilema to her delegation that it should not leave without signing an agreement.
She said her delegation will be returning to the DRC having achieved a major milestone towards the construction of the road.
Earlier this week, the DRC delegation met and held talks with President Hichilema at State House and later held bilateral talks with Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Minister Charles Milupi.
This is according to a statement released by Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Public Relations Officer, Jeff Banda.