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Press Releases

October 12, 2012

Signing of Japanese ODA Loan Agreement with the Republics of Botswana and Zambia
–Promoting Regional Economic Development with the Construction of a Cross-Border Bridge Desired by the Southern Africa Region–

PhotoSigning ceremony

Today, at the Japan International Cooperation Agency headquarters, JICA signed Japanese ODA loan agreements with the Governments of the Republics of Botswana and Zambia to provide loans of up to 8.735 billion yen and 2.877 billion yen, respectively, a total of up to 11.612 billion yen, for assistance towards the Kazungula Bridge Construction Project. This is the first Japanese ODA loan to Botswana since December 1995, and the first to Zambia since March 2009.

This project will construct a bridge (with railway tracks) roughly 930 meters across the Zambezi River, along with access roads and border control facilities at Kazungula, located at the border between Botswana and Zambia. The objectives of the project are to make transportation more efficient, improve goods distribution through the North-South Corridor, and promote economic development within the Southern African region.

Given factors such as rising resource prices in recent years, both Botswana and Zambia have achieved real GDP growth exceeding 6 percent in 2010 and 2011, an accomplishment of steady growth. However, the economies of both countries are heavily dependent on natural resources, making industrial diversification and promoting investment long-term national issues. Furthermore, both countries have underdeveloped infrastructures as well as complicated procedures at the borders that hinder trade and raise transportation costs. Because both Botswana and Zambia are landlocked countries, these issues are major bottlenecks for industrial development and improvement of the investment environment. Thus, development of regional transportation infrastructure and expansion of capacities of transportation corridors are key to efficient distribution of goods and development in Southern Africa.

PhotoThe location (A ferry makes the crossing carrying heavy trucks)

The North-South Corridor that passes through Botswana and Zambia is one of the vital transportation corridors in the region, connecting Zambia with the Port of Durban in South Africa, which boasts the highest freight volume in the Southern Africa region. The North-South Corridor is divided by the Zambezi River at the border between Botswana and Zambia, and currently the only means to cross the river at the border point of Kazungula between the countries is two ferries, which have a transportation capacity of about 30 vehicles each (as converted to large trucks) per day, a considerable limitation. As a result, it takes an average of about 30 hours to make the border crossing for trucks, hindering goods distribution along the North-South Corridor, as well as economic development in the Southern Africa region. Therefore, the construction of a bridge at Kazungula to connect the North-South Corridor is a wish long held not only in Botswana and Zambia, but also in other countries in the Southern Africa region. The governments of Botswana and Zambia conceived of constructing the bridge more than 10 years ago, and after receiving requests from those governments, JICA conducted a feasibility study. This loan is being granted after subsequent coordination between the two countries on project planning. This project is co-funded by JICA and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in accordance with the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa (EPSA for Africa).[1]

To ensure the project produces sustainable results, JICA is planning and implementing the measures below.

(1) In addition to the bridge construction, the project will rebuild border control facilities, and support is also expected to expedite border crossing procedures using a one-stop border post (OSBP) in which customs, emigration and immigration control, quarantines and the like are brought under centralized control by both countries.[2] JICA is moving ahead with an initiative at Chirundu on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, and is providing assistance to introduce an OSBP at locations such as Namanga at the Kenya-Tanzania border and Rusumo at the Rwanda-Tanzania border.

(2) This is a watershed project, building the first extradosed bridge[3] in sub-Saharan Africa. Given that this is the first design of this kind to be introduced in the sub-Saharan Africa region, JICA has dispatched experts for technical support to the executing agencies and is promoting steady project implementation and transfer of technology.

PhotoArtist’s impression of the completed bridge (Source: Detailed design report for the project)


1. Terms and Amounts of Loans

Project title Borrower Amount (million yen) Annual interest rate (%) Repayment (years) Grace Period (years) Procurement
Project Consulting services
Kazungula Bridge Construction Project Government of the Republic of Botswana 8,735 1.2 0.01 25 7 Untied
Government of the Republic of Zambia 2,877 0.01 0.01 40 10 Untied

N.B. Because this project is being co-financed with AfDB (Accelerated Co-financing Facility for Africa: ACFA), preferential terms apply to Botswana.

2. Project Summaries

Executing Agency

(1) Botswana
Ministry of Transport and Communications
Address: West Gate Mall, Unit 28, Western Bypass,
Gaborone, Republic of Botswana
Phone: +267 361-2091, fax: +267 390-7236

(2) Zambia
Road Development Authority
Address: Government/ Fairley Road
P.O. Box 50003, Lusaka, Republic of Zambia
Phone : +260 211 253088/253801, fax: +260 211 253404

Planed Implementation Schedule
(i) Completion of project: March 2018 – when the facilities are put into service
(ii) Issuing of letters of invitation for consulting services (including detailed design work): September 2012
(iii) Tender announcement of initial procurement package for international competitive bidding on project construction:
Procurement package title: Bridges, Border Control Facilities and Access Roads Release date: October 2013


  • [1] Announced by the Japanese government in 2005, EPSA for Africa is an initiative aimed at supporting the comprehensive development of Africa’s private sector. The Japanese ODA loans provided by JICA under EPSA for Africa consist of Japanese sovereign financing co-financed by the AfDB and non-sovereign financing through the AfDB.
  • [2] JICA places an emphasis on OSBP initiatives, aiming to expedite border crossing procedures, and is currently implementing technical cooperation in seven sub-Saharan countries.
    Topic: Working toward smooth trade with one stop: Zambia and Zimbabwe
    http://www.jica.go.jp/topics/2009/20091222_01.html (Japanese)
  • [3] A type of prestressed concrete bridge, an extradosed bridge is a cross between a cable-stayed bridge and a girder bridge. Although similar in appearance to a prestressed concrete cable-stayed bridge, the towers are low and the cables are nearly horizontal to the bridge deck.


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