The inaugural Kasomeno-Mwenda Toll Road Project (KMTR) Bilateral meeting was led by the Republic of Zambia’s Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, the Hon. Charles Milupi, and Nico Nzau Nzau, the Director-General of the ACGT in the Democratic
Republic of Congo and delegation leader.
The three day workshop focussed on the structured layers of the joint steering committees and how to harmonise legal frameworks for the One Stop Border Post Agreement (OSBPA). The steering committees are composed of senior representatives from various ministries, the Road Development Agency (RDA) and Agence Congolaise des Grand Travaux (ACGT), Zambia and DRC’s road works agencies respectively.
“This inaugural meeting of the joint Zambia–Democratic Republic of Congo steering committee on the Kasomeno-Mwenda Toll Road Project and one-stop border posts marks a significant milestone in efforts to actualise the project. The new Zambian administration is committed to further strengthening our bilateral relations for socio-economic developments,” commented the Hon. Charles Milupi in his opening remarks.
Livingstone was selected as the venue for this first series of workshops due to its proximity to the Kazungula OSBP between Zambia and Botswana. Day 1 concluded with a site inspection and walk through of the streamlined customs and immigration processes and procedures.
Kazungula is regarded as a model of which to structure GED Africa’s OSBP development along the planned 185km route connecting the mineral rich Haut- Katanga to Luapula’s agricultural sector.
Hon. Milupi’s sentiments were echoed by Nico Nzau Nzau of the ACGT, who added, “Our main objective is to iron out any differences of views in order to facilitate trade by the efficient movement of goods and people in the COMESA and SADC regions, and to improve the socio-economic conditions of populations along the river, as well the economic indicators of our respective nations.”
Day 2 started with a constructive debrief on what was witnessed during the site visit ang Zambia presented on lessons learnt from Kazungula’s development. GED Africa, as the concessionaire, presented the strategy and conceptual OSBP design.
Day 3 concluded with a project status update from GED Africa’s CEO, Klaus Findt. He further added that “The KMTR Bilateral Meeting marks a critical milestone in the improvement of trade and transport between the DRC and Zambia. The KMTR is perfectly positioned to facilitate local trade and unlock the region’s potential through enhanced access to international markets through East African ports. “This can only be achieved through the degree of bilateral collaboration that we have witnessed this week.”