For Records: Development of Lobito Corridor and Zambia-Lobito Rail Line

The African Development Bank and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) join the United States and the European Union in support of Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia to develop the Lobito Corridor and the new Zambia-Lobito rail line by signing a seven-side Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on the margins of the Global Gateway Forum in Brussels, Belgium.

The MoU outlines the intentions of the signatories to collaborate across multiple sectors to realize the full economic potential of the Corridor, building on the Lobito Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency agreement signed by the three African governments in January and anchored by historic, envisioned investment in developing the Zambia-Lobito greenfield rail line.

The new rail line, connecting northwest Zambia to the Lobito Atlantic Railway and the port of Lobito, represents the most significant transport infrastructure that the United States has helped develop on the African continent in a generation and will enhance regional trade and growth as well as advance the shared vision of connected, open-access rail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean.

Demonstrating the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI) in action and leveraging both Western and African capital, this strategic transport infrastructure unlocks regional trade and enables additional investments in digital connectivity, agriculture value chains, green energy supply chains and rural health center electrification, among other transformative economic imperatives.

At the signing, the United States was represented by Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Investment Amos Hochstein, the European Union was represented by Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen, Angola was represented by Minister of State for Economic Coordination José de Lima Massano, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was represented by Prime Minister Jean-Michel Lukonde, Zambia was represented by Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane, the African Development Bank was represented by Vice President Solomon Quaynor, and the Africa Finance Corporation was represented by Board Member and Head of Financial Services Sanjeev Gupta.

As a signature initiative of President Biden, PGI aims to offer a credible alternative to low- and middle-income countries around the world to help meet their infrastructure needs. Developing a significant new multi-country transport infrastructure project that follows the highest international standards regarding labor, environment and quality is the centerpiece of PGI’s flagship economic development corridor. Following the MoU, AFC will work with the parties to launch the feasibility and preparatory studies necessary to further prepare this extensive infrastructure project—a critical concrete action step aimed to begin before the end of the year.

Kehinde Olusegun

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