“We have already allocated around one billion dollars in Angola alone to start doing part of this work and we will continue to expand what this offer entails in various sectors,” said US government official Helaina Matza.
In a virtual press conference organized from the consular diplomatic representation in the South African economic capital, the acting special coordinator of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGI) of the US Department of State highlighted that the project aims to be “multisectoral”, highlighting that the initiative will take place until 2028 in partnership with the European Union (EU), with European investment yet to be defined.
African countries recently announced, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in India, their commitment to developing the “Lobito Corridor”, which connects the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo and northwest Zambia to regional and international commercial markets through the port sea of Lobito, in Angola, according to US authorities.
“The main concern and interest at this time is to ensure that we are doing everything we can to help continue the railway in a way that actually goes into Zambia and brings that additional connectivity to Angola and a route to the port , this will take some time and I think we have a good plan in place to help support these efforts”, explained Helaina Matza to the press.
In this sense, she pointed to the end of this year as the date for the beginning of a feasibility study of the African regional project in coordination with the governments of Angola, DRCongo and Zambia.
From the perspective of the United States Government, the new railway line that connects Zambia to the port of Lobito will be “the largest single investment by the US and the EU on the African continent in a generation”, aiming to “unlock the enormous potential” that exists in the railway sector in sub-Saharan Africa.
“We think it's quite significant that the European Union has joined us and said that not only are we doing this alongside the US, but we are also elevating this as a priority”, stressed the US government official.
In addition to the railway infrastructure, Helaina Matza indicated that the project will also integrate the development of 5G mobile communications as well as projects in the area of renewable energy, namely solar, in the three countries in the southern region of the continent.
“Much of the investment in infrastructure, at the request of the various governments that are part of this group, aims to improve connectivity across their borders in all directions between Zambia and DRCongo and, of course, Angola and Zambia as well, and we can also think in different ways to support this deployment and reach more interesting commercial agreements, being able to bring some of the companies that already operate in our strategic area, namely mining companies (…), but we hope that some additional agribusinesses and other industries will take advantage of these routes ”, he highlighted.