Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor gains momentum
Import and export volumes for the Zambian Market via the Port of Walvis Bay grew recorded a new high of more than 40 000 tonnes for September 2017 and these occurrences show significant confidence on the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor and especially the Zambian market.
Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) CEO, Mr Johny Smith explained last week that compared to the inception of this route more than a decade ago, the Zambian market has achieved a better balance between imports and exports, which has also reduced the costs on this corridor over time.
“A variety of commodities have been established over a period of time to support the balance of imports and exports via the Port of Walvis Bay for the Zambian Market,” he said.
Apart from the increase for the Zambian market; the Malawian market has enjoyed an increase of more than 50%, against the previous year, which also forms part of the WBCNLDC.
“Continuous engagements with various stakeholders from the public and private sector on the WBNLDC remain critical to support the growth and development of this corridor,” he said.
The WBNLDC links the Port of Walvis Bay with Zambia, the southern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zimbabwe. The Corridor runs via the Zambezi Region in north-eastern Namibia and enters Zambia via the Katima Mulilo bridge. The WBNLDC was officially opened in 1999. In May 2004, the bridge over the Zambezi River at Katima Mulilo (Namibia) and Sesheke (Zambia) was completed, which has been a strategic piece of infrastructure this corridor. The Corridor stretches over 2,500 km, and is supported by a railway line between Walvis Bay and Grootfontein, where transshipment facilities are available.
As part of its mandate to aid in awareness creation of the Walvis Bay Corridors and the Port of Walvis Bay, WBCG established an office in Lusaka in 2005 to support growth in that market.
A follow up WBNLDC Tripartite meeting, between DRC, Namibia and Zambia, will take place in Ndola, Zambia early next month. This body aims at regulating and evaluating the progress concerning full implementation of solutions on the various corridors and continuously finding ways of how to improve efficiency on this corridor and thereby reducing the cost of trade in the SADC Region.