World Bank Grants USD 270 Million to Improve Transport Connectivity Between Zambia and East Africa

World Bank Zambia

On 29th February 2024, the World Bank (WB) approved a grant of USD 270 million for the Transport Corridors for Economic Resilience (TRACER) program, which aims to improve the efficiency, connectivity, and climate resilience of key regional transport and trade corridors in Eastern and Southern Africa.

“TRACER is a significant commitment to regional trade and transportation. By focusing on strategic improvements and climate resilience, we hope this will pave the way for a more robust and sustainable economic future for Zambia and its neighbors,” said Achim Fock, World Bank Country Manager for Zambia. “The transport and logistics sectors are expected to experience a boost from targeted activities aimed at institutional and sectoral capacity building.”

The six-year project will benefit 2.5 million people in Zambia or approximately 13% of the population. This includes 500,000 direct beneficiaries within Zambia, with an additional 2 million people set to experience indirect advantages.

The project will rehabilitate the Serenje-Mpika section of the corridor, developing a One Stop Border Post (OSBP) at Nakonde, and converting the existing corridor into a safety, mobility, automated, real-time traffic management (SMART) corridor.

The project’s reach extends beyond borders, positively impacting communities in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Malawi.

The project is also expected to address the challenges of inadequate trade and transport facilitation systems, missing and weak infrastructure links, and inefficient transport and logistics that the region frequently faces. 

“TRACER is not just about infrastructure; it’s about people. From cargo owners to local communities, the ripple effects of improved transport corridors will be felt across the region, driving development, and facilitating trade in unprecedented ways,” concluded Aymen Ahmed Osman Ali, World Bank Senior Transport Specialist, and project team leader.

The Ministry of Finance & National Planning of Zambia commented on its Twitter page: “The gesture by the World Bank is a powerful affirmation of the confidence that it has in not only Zambia’s development policies but also in the regional integration initiatives such as the TRACER Project that are pursued in collaboration with neighboring countries. The funds will help the corridor get some relief from the current transport-related gridlock caused by years of infrastructure disrepair and divided attention to efficiency requirements in our quest for economic resilience. Businesses along the corridor and cross-border traders between the two countries will benefit from the initiative.”

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