Brazzaville-Kinshasa Road/Rail Bridge Challenges Chinese Funding Option

Many experts had almost concluded that Chinese funding is about the easiest and the most feasible for Africa to achieve infrastructure growth and bridge the infrastructural deficit in Africa. Akinwumi Adeisina’s African Development Bank is proving that conclusion to be wrong.
A major project of continental significance has taken off through a purely African initiative supported by the bank. Key projects can be implemented if African governments explore the vast opportunities existing within public private sector partnership, the Brazzaville-Kinshasa Road/Rail Bridge has affirmed.

Let read more about the project below:

The project aims to achieve a fixed link between the cities of Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, by the construction of a mixed road and rail bridge on the Congo River at Maloukou Trechot.

Project Description
The project includes the construction of a road and rail bridge between Brazzaville in Congo and Kinshasa in the DRC. The project also includes road and rail links in both countries as well as joint border control points (One Stop Border Posts). A border control post will be located at each end of the bridge and will house border control officers. Inspections will only be conducted on one side of the river (i.e. on the departure side). The existing road infrastructure will be extended by 10km to connect the bridge to the two cities.
The railway bridge will have a total length of 1 575m and 10 bays divided as follows: 2 bays of 120m, 4 bays of 152m, 2 bays of 242m and two bays of 121.5m. The profile on the other side of the road consists of two unidirectional sidewalks with two lanes of 3m. The total width of the road, including sidewalks, is 16.24 m.
The two large cable-stayed spans (242m and 152m), located in the river along the banks, give the bridge a gateway to the capitals. The bridge will be located in Maloukou Trechot, 6km from the city of Maluku in Congo. The site is 55km from the two capitals along the river.

The bridge is part of a larger project, the Kinshasa-Ilebo railway project, which aims to improve the rail network in Africa. The larger project is expected to contribute to increased regional trade and accelerate regional integration between Central and Southern Africa. The project is expected to allow for cheaper and faster river crossing by passengers and freight. The beneficiaries of the project will therefore include the two countries whose fiscal will benefit from increased trade, the increased presence of domestic and foreign companies in both countries, from private transporters and the economic and social benefits of liberated movement of both populations

Project Objectives and Benefits

The project aims to create a fixed link between the cities of Brazzaville and Kinshasa through the construction of a rail-road bridge designed to ensure the safe and cost effective movement of vehicle and rail traffic.
Through the construction of the bridge, the project aims to do the following:
Strengthen regional integration
Stimulate trade and strengthen the economic integration between Congo and the DRC;
Improve the living environment of the inhabitants of Kinshasa and Brazzaville;
Improve and secure links between Brazzaville, Kinshasa and the ports of Pointe Noire and Banana;
Encourage the movement of people and goods along the Tripoli- Windhoek corridor; and
Boost trade between the DRC, Cameroon and Gabon.

Project Risks
Environmental Risks: Risk of pollution of the Congo River following accidents involving dangerous products, such as hydrocarbons.
Social risks: Displacement of populations in road linkage areas; who live, own property or engage in commercial activities on the site. The control of the development of human settlements following the construction of the bridge.

Project Stakeholders

NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (IPPF) – Preparation Funder
African Development Fund (ADF) – Preparation Funder
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) – Regional Coordinator
Government of DRC (GoCD) – Lead National Agency
Government of DRC (GoCD) – Preparation Funder
NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) – Continental Coordinator
Southern African Development Community (SADC) – Regional Coordinator
Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC-ECCAS) – Regional Coordinator
Délégation Générale des Grand Travaux (DGGT) – Lead National Agency

Project Economics
Net Present Value: 336.90 million USD
Cost Benefit Ratio:
Financial Internal Rate of Return (FIRR):
Economic Internal Rate of Return (EIRR): 22.00 %
Comments on Economics

• Project economics and finances reflected here refers also to “T.19.02 Brazzaville-Kinshasa OSBP”.
• A Build–Operate–Transfer (BOT) public-private partnership (PPP) will be developed the Project.

Annual Cost:
2016: The feasibility study quantifies the cost of developing the bridge, border crossings and road links, but did not study or quantify the cost of the proposed railway infrastructure.
2017: • A request was made to the African Development Bank for the financing of legal assistance to structure the financing of the project and the finalisation of the bidding documents according to the financing method adopted. • On the other hand, the African Development Bank has already expressed its willingness to participate in the financing of the project, following its participation in the financing of the feasibility study.
Project Planning and Progress
2016: The feasibility study of the project was completed in 2016.
2017: • A memorandum of understanding for the construction of the port was signed in 2017, but due to the complexity of the situation, construction is unlikely to occur until 2020. • An Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) was developed as part of the feasibility study that establishes a number of mitigation measures to minimise the environmental and social impacts of the project. • The project is proposed for a period of 75 months.

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