AfDB Boosts Mozambique’s Railway with $40 Million Loan for New Locomotives

Investment to Enhance Trade and Connectivity in Southern Africa Through Ressano Garcia Line Upgrade

by Adenike Adeodun

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has sanctioned a pivotal $40 million loan to rejuvenate the Mozambique Rail and Port Authority (MRPA), earmarked for the procurement of locomotive rolling stock on the crucial Ressano Garcia railway line. This financial infusion is set to significantly bolster the transport infrastructure, linking the bustling port of Maputo with the South African frontier.

This strategic investment will encompass the acquisition of ten high-powered diesel-electric locomotives, along with 300 wagons and 120 tank containers, promising a notable uplift in rail traffic efficiency. Furthermore, the loan will finance a comprehensive three-year maintenance scheme for the new locomotives and vital training for MRPA’s maintenance personnel, ensuring sustainable operations.

Projected to amplify access to essential infrastructure for countless households, the initiative is a beacon of trade facilitation, job creation, and skill development. Dominating over 90% of the rail traffic volume, the 88-kilometer Ressano Garcia line is a lifeline for MRPA, accounting for 70% of its total rail transport volume.

In alignment with its strategic 2021–2024 roadmap, MRPA’s bolstering through the AfDB’s $40 million support is a leap towards enhancing the logistical framework of Mozambique. The bank also aims to raise an additional $30 million from supplementary financiers to further this transformative railway project.

According to a report by ESI Africa, Mozambique stands as a pivotal logistics gateway for its neighbors—South Africa, Eswatini, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Zambia—facilitating their global trade through efficient port access. This project is poised to streamline logistics, slash transportation costs, and foster economic integration, benefiting local communities and bolstering access to markets.

The AfDB’s commitment is not just a leap towards modernizing Mozambique’s railway infrastructure but also a step towards strengthening regional integration and trade across Southern Africa. By enhancing the Ressano Garcia railway line’s capacity and efficiency, this initiative is set to revolutionize the corridor’s competitiveness, making it a cost-effective logistics solution for the region.

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