The Democratic Republic of Congo (60.6 million inhabitants) and the Republic of Congo (3.8 million inhabitants) are both member countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) separated by the River Congo. Located on the two banks of the river, their respective capitals – Kinshasa (on the left bank) with nearly 8 million inhabitants and Brazzaville (on the right bank) with 1.2 million inhabitants – are the closest capital cities in the world. Currently, the two capitals are linked by ferry and boat. With the population of Kinshasa and Brazzaville growing, traffic on the River Congo has increased to a point where the available transport infrastructure can no longer meet the demand.
The project comprises a rail and road bridge which will link the two cities. The railway line will be connected with the Lumbumbashi - Ilebo line and will also complete the missing road link of the “Trans-African Highway: Tripoli–Windhoek–Cape Town”, and a rail link for the “Pointe Noire – South Eastern Africa Railway Network”. The sub-project involves only the construction of Brazzaville-Kinshasa Road / Rail Bridge across the Congo River, the construction of a one-stop border post (OSBP), equipping of border post and training/capacity building.
The bridge will promote regional integration and economic development in both countries, and also serve as an inter-state and sub-regional trans-African link. This project has been identified by the African Union as a priority regional and continental project under the “Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative” (PICI). The project is supported by ECCAS, COMESA and SADC.
The Joint Technical Monitoring for the bridge section of the project has been appointed. The feasibility study and detailed design are being prepared under the supervision of ECCAS and financed by AfDB.
The railway section of the project will be the responsibility of the DRC government, which has already formed a Railway Technical Committee.
It was reported that two workshops which had been planned for 2015 to finalise the detailed design stage of the bridge, after which the project would move to the tender process for construction of the bridge, did not take place.
The project is envisaged to be completed by 2025.
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