Zambia, DRC kick off major road project

3rd October 2023 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Deputy Editor Online

The Presidents of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia have broken ground at the Lualapa river bridge site, marking the start of the Kasomeno-Mwenda Toll Road (KMTR) project.

The new route will reduce the roundtrip for commercial transporters from Haut-Katanga’s booming mining sector to the Port of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, by about 500 km.

The project will comprise the construction and expansion of 184 km of road highway, a 345-m-long cable-stayed bridge over the border at the Luapala river, a one-stop border post with accompanying warehousing and parking facilities, a tolling system and associated infrastructure, as well as social infrastructure for community development.

By combining shorter distances with DRC’s first one-stop border post, this new pathway to the east will unlock regional potential and create economic prosperity for all stakeholders.

The project is the single-largest infrastructure investment from Europe into Africa by project sponsor Hungarian construction company Duna Aszfalt. The Duna group owns several infrastructure development and construction companies, with Duna Aszfalt being the largest construction division within the group.

The governments of both countries have committed to coordinate and jointly work to deliver this strategic infrastructure project at the earliest possible time, at the quality of international standards.

The KMTR project is an example of a multinational public-private partnership (PPP) model that positions the DRC and Zambia for sustainable economic growth through world class engineering expertise, tolling technology and modern infrastructure.

The project will be built by GED Africa, with the help of Agence Congolaise des Grands Travaux and Zambia Road Development Agency to create long-term positive socioeconomic impact.

GED Africa is the investment and project management company of the KMTR project, which combines two 25-year PPP concessions between the subsidiaries of GED Africa and the governments of the DRC and Zambia under separate concession agreements.

GED Africa pledged an additional multimillion-dollar sustainable impact fund to be distributed over the tenor of the concession period, across various health care, education, and social infrastructure initiatives in the projects’ host communities.

GED Africa CEO Klaus Findt comments the company and Duna Aszfalt are proud to announce the finalisation of the border post agreement which was a critical next step. “We are strategically using the upcoming rainy season to fine-tune the engineering designs with our partners so that major works can start as planned,” he adds.