- The British government has today announced a huge boost to the North-South corridor improvement that will see a major facelift on transport networks from South Africa to Tanzania.
The dream project received thumbs up from major funders today at the funding summit held in Lusaka, Zambia, bringing heads of states from the Southern African hub, together with the East and Central African states before major donors and funders.
Through its Department of International Development (DFID), the British government committed 100 million pounds for major infrastructural development to boost trade routes in the region, with the other partners expected to commit to the rest of the over US$ 1 billion needed for the ambitious project.
The north-south corridor, linking South Africa in the south to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania in the north, and connecting all routes to the ports on the Atlantic and Indian oceans, will cover more than 5,000 miles of roads need to be rebuilt or improved.
The project will be financed by public and private investors, including the World Bank, European Commission, regional economic communities and development agencies, the DFID said.
"The north-south corridor will improve transport networks and encourage new investment that will, over time, increase prosperity and reduce poverty in the region," UK Trade Minister Gareth Thomas said in Lusaka.
The European Commission also announced a pledge of 115 million euros to the infrastructure project. "It's very clear that Africa is being hit by wave after wave of aftershocks from the financial crisis," said EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel.
"This regional response to free-up trade and stimulate growth and jobs is essential at this time and for the long-term development of Africa's economy."
The corridor aims to remove trade bottlenecks in eight countries: Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa.
Zambia's President Rupiah Banda, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni were some of the heads of states at the Lusaka meeting today, aimed at lobbying for funding for the project.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.