The Mozambican and Malawian governments signed in Maputo an addendum to the agreement on the sharing of the Nacala Development Corridor (CDN), with projects worth US$ 2.5 billion.
Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Mozambican Transport and Communications Minister Carlos Mesquita said that the agreement aims at mobilizing resources to strengthen the capacity of existing rail and port infrastructures at the Corridor.
The corridor runs from Nacala Bay, on the northern Mozambican coast, to the Malawian border, and then through southern Malawi to reach the Moatize coal basin in the western Mozambican province of Tete. Nacala Bay, regarded as the best deep water harbour in East Africa, now contains two ports – the long established Nacala commercial port, and the recently constructed mineral port at Nacala-a-Velha.
Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita said the central objectives of the addendum “are the regulation and coordination of cross-border aspects, The railway crosses Malawi, and so practical matters of a legal nature, concerning customs, for example, must be taken into account”.
As for the economics of the corridor, Mesquita believed it should not be limited to coal exports (which he estimated at nine million tonnes this year). The line should carry traffic in both directions, he said, including Malawian trade.
Mesquita believed that modernisation of the Nacala Corridor “will have an impact on the development of both countries, providing logistical support for agriculture, tourism and trade”.
He pointed out that other countries of the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region, such as Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, could also make use of the Nacala Corridor.
“We must maximise and optimise use of the railway”, he said. The target of 2.5 billion dollars to be raised would improve the rail facilities and capacity on both sides of the border.