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Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana mull tripartite rail project

by Staff reporter
10 Jul 2024 at 02:42hrs | Views
Mozambique is negotiating the upgrade of the regional railway system from Beira through Zimbabwe to Botswana, including a proposed new line into central Botswana, according to President Filipe Nyusi. This project, a tripartite effort between Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Botswana, also includes constructing a new deepwater mineral port in southern Mozambique to facilitate the exploitation of Botswana's coal reserves.

Following the upgrade of the Beira to Machipanda line, Zimbabwe and Mozambique began refurbishing and extending the railway line from Machipanda to Mutare in May. Mozambique's Transport Minister, Mateus Magala, and Zimbabwe's Transport Minister, Felix Mhona, discussed infrastructure cooperation during a visit in January, coinciding with the commissioning of the upgraded Beira-Machipanda railway line.

President Nyusi announced the latest developments while inaugurating the doubling of the track on the Ressano-Garcia line, linking Maputo to South Africa. Zimbabwe's Ambassador to Mozambique, Victor Matemadanda, confirmed the proposal to link the Machipanda line to Zimbabwe, aiming to connect the region through Zimbabwe.

The Mozambique-Botswana Joint Cooperation Commission met recently, focusing on the projected deepwater port in Matutuine. A tripartite agreement to facilitate negotiations on the Techobanine port, linked to Botswana by a 1,700km railway through Zimbabwe, is expected to be signed soon. The main cargo for this route is anticipated to be Botswana coal.

Further discussions and the signing of memorandums of understanding in geology, mining, and metallurgy are scheduled during Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi's visit to Mozambique from July 10 to 12. The upgraded 318km railway line is expected to reduce transport costs and ease congestion at the Forbes Border Post in Mutare. Both countries' transport ministers have agreed on urgent actions to ensure the railway line's efficient operation from Machipanda to Mutare and from Beira to Harare.

Source - The Herald