#DRC: Congo Railways Launches $25b Nationwide Rail Projects

The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, through Congo Railways (CR), a public limited company under Congolese law, launched the feasibility studies for the realization of the mega project of construction of 10,000 km of railway.

These studies will last 6 to 12 months before the actual project is carried out.

The Secretary General at the Ministry of Portfolio, Emmanuel Kapwabwa cut the symbolic ribbon of the launch of this project on behalf of the minister , and in front of several personalities of the country including the Minister of Communication and Media Jolino Makelele.

Valued at 25 billion US dollars, this Congo Railways project is distributed geographically as follows:

To the west, from Banana-Boma-Matadi-Kinshasa-Ilebo.

In the south, from Sakania-Lubumbashi-Kolwezi-Ilebo to Dilolo.

In the East: Kamina-Kindu-Bukavu-Bumba to Mbuji-Mayi via Kananga then to Kalemie.

For the successful completion of the construction of this railway, three other related projects will also be developed, in particular the production of electricity from photovoltaic power plants and from biomass plants, the deployment and operation of fiber. optics along the railway and the last project will focus on real estate development in the DRC.

It would be recalled that Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) signed a contract with a consortium of German companies for the construction and modernization of 10,000 kilometers of railway lines, to link all the 26 Congolese provinces, some of which are landlocked in late 2020.

The cost of the project amounts to 25 billion dollars and its realization will spread over 30 years, according to the agreement concluded between these companies and the Congolese government, represented by the ministries of Budget, Portfolio, Transport. and Finance, in the Presence of President Félix Tshisekedi.

This project was developed during Félix Tshisekedi’s last visit in November 2019 to Germany.

5,000 of the 10,000 kilometers of railways that will be maintained are currently under the management of Congolese public companies, notably the Société commerciale des transports et des ports (SCTP), the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo (SNCC) and the Chemins of Uélé (CEFU).

Congo’s railways are the one of the worst in Africa. In its 2018 report, the World Bank noted that these DRC transport infrastructures are in a “disastrous” state.

The DRC, a country of 2.3 million km², has very few passable roads. The 5,000 km long railway was built in colonial times, and

This network, split into four non-interconnected areas, is now defective, causing numerous and recurring fatal derailments.

The last rail disaster in September 2019 killed at least 50 people, all of whom were stowaways on a freight train in the south-east of the country.

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