Zambia ratifies agreement to connect Walvis Bay to DRC

Hippy Tjivikua

The Zambian government has ratified the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor (WBNLDC) Tripartite Agreement on 12 January 2024.

The corridor connects Walvis Bay port to Ndola in the Zambian Copperbelt and Lubumbashi in the mineral rich region of Katanga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) said in a statement that the corridor is aimed at creating an alternative trade route to the mineral hubs of DRC and Zambia to the international markets.

“These collective efforts aim to identify common resolutions for addressing various cross border challenges affecting the corridor.

Furthermore, the agreement seeks to establish a competitive trade, transport and logistics sector that will ensure fair business practices among all the corridor operators, as well as stimulate socio-economic development along the corridor, ultimately boosting intra-Africa trade,” WBCG said.

WBCG is the host of the corridor secretariat and has been coordinated the activities of the WBNLDC in Namibia since its inception.

WBCG chief executive Hippy Tjivikua said the agreement will facilitate cross-border transit-transport cooperation among the member states.

“WBCG extends its appreciation to the Zambian government, Frank M Tayali and the Zambian leadership for their dedicated efforts and seamless coordination in expediting the ratification process.

This demonstrated political will and support from Zambia in this regard are commendable, paving the way for successfully eliminating cross-border challenges among the three member states,” said Tjivikua.

The tripartite agreement was signed in March 2010 by the DRC, Namibia and Zambia.

Following the signature, the DRC was the first to ratify in 2015, followed by Namibia in 2021 and now Zambia.

The Zambian minister of transport and logistics, Frank Tayali, led a delegation to Walvis Bay on a familiarisation tour of the Zambian Dry Port in June 2022.

During the tour he noted that because business was booming between the DRC and Zambia, there was a need to ratify the tripartite agreement.

“The minister says the benefits of the ratification will improve the infrastructure, private sector participation, as well as contribute to the overall development of the region, through promoting cross-border trade and investment.

“The government had recognised the importance of regional integration and cooperation as key to the country’s economic growth and development, hence the ratification of the agreement,” noted a statement issued by the Zambian transport ministry on Friday.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!