In 2010 the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) obtained $262 million from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) earmarked for the rehabilitation and upgrading of three existing roads across the country. These are Senanga – Sesheke, Kabombo – Chavuma and Kalulushi – Lufwanyama which form part of the Trans-African Highways programme route stretching from Cape Town to the DRC’s Katanga Province and onwards to Kinshasa.
These roads link up as part of the Western Corridor in Zambia connecting the new western Copperbelt area with the DRC, Namibia, Angola and Botswana.
We focus on the Senanga to Sesheke Road, a 219 km road that connects to the western corridor.
National Road Fund Director/CEO Eng. Wallece Mumba says the partnership had helped improve economic activities in the western corridor.
“It has been a very good partnership with DBSA, having helped us improve the economic activities in that area and the country in general. If you do an assessment of that area in terms of what it was then and how it is now, the difference is tremendous. We were able to put up some toll gates at that corridor because the traffic has improved tremendously due to the good condition of the road,” He said.
The Loan facility opened up some of Zambia’s key economic roads and facilitated regional integration, ease of transportation of goods and services and significant linkage with national and international corridors.
The Senanga – Sesheke road a forms part of a strategically important regional link as a shorter route (Western Corridor) from the copper-producing region of Zambia around Kitwe up to the DRC in the north, Botswana and Namibia to the south and Angola to the west.
In 2013 the RDA engaged China Henan International Corporation to construct the Sioma Bridge at K108.2 million, which gave birth to the road, has land-linked Western Province to Namibia, enabling traders from Nkeyema, Kaoma, Luampa and Mongu to easily travel to Namibia through Sesheke to buy goods.
The road has made a huge impact in the society, both foot and motor vehicle traffic flow from Sesheke to Mongu has increased tremendously, boosting the economic situation in that region and pulling traders to the main road for ease of doing business.
For the NRFA, this partnership has worked greatly to achieve on key area stated in its mission and that is to stimulate socio-economic development by proactively mobilizing resources and effectively managing and administering the Road Fund in a transparent and sustainable way to ensure value for money.
Beyond this, the NRFA seeks to enhance this strategic partnership for continued cooperation on other developmental projects.