Private partner to develop US$550 million Kinshasa-Brazzaville bridge
The governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo have agreed to develop the first road-rail bridge between their capitals, Kinshasa and Brazzaville, through a public-private partnership (PPP).
The 1,575km toll bridge will cross the Congo River. It will include a single railway track, a double-lane road, sidewalks, and a border checkpoint at each end. It will be connected to existing road infrastructure in both countries. The most recent cost estimate is US$550 million.
The governments have signed a framework agreement for the development and financing of the project with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Africa50, a pan-African infrastructure investment platform. The bank will act as the debt provider under the aegis of the Economic Community of Central African States. As the main developer, Africa50 will lead the project development, help select a strategic partner, and provide equity for construction.
Separated by the Congo River, Kinshasa and Brazzaville are the two closest capital cities in the world. However they are currently only linked by ferries. Once the bridge is built, the existing traffic of an estimated 750,000 people and 340,000 tons of freight a year, is expected to increase to over 3 million people and 2 million tons of freight by 2025.
The project has been in development for many years, with both governments signing initial protocols in 2007, and cooperating on and co-funding the feasibility study with the AfDB. It is part of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Priority Action Plan.
The framework agreement was signed at the Africa Investment Forum, convened by the AfDB, in partnership with the Africa Export-Import Bank, Africa Finance Corporation, Africa50, Development Bank of Southern Africa, European Investment Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and Trade and Development Bank. At least 45 deals worth over US$32 billion secured investment interest over the three days.