The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate with the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), the European Commission and the governments of Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Zambia and the United States (US) in raising funds and mobilizing resources for the implementation of the Lobito Corridor and the Zambia-Lobito transit projects.
Signed on October 27 in Belgium in the presence of Jutta Urpilainen, Angola’s Minister of State for Economic Coordination; Jean-Michel Lukonde, Prime Minister of the DRC; and Situmbeko Musokotwane, Zambia’s Minister of Finance and National Planning, the MoU will see the signatories partnering with public and private sector entities to raise over $1.5 billion required for the project.
The Lobito Corridor and Zambia-Lobito railway initiatives aim to connect the DRC and Zambia with regional and global markets via Angola. Under the agreement, the AfDB will contribute $500 million towards the program, while the AFC will act as the overall project developer.
“The Lobito Corridor project is a very strategic corridor that will facilitate regional integration and grow trade across the three countries and beyond,” says Solomon Quaynor, Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization for the AfDB. “It will attract investments in digital access, clean energy supply chains and agricultural value chains that will increase regional competitiveness and trade within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”
Amos Hochstein, Deputy Assistant to US President Joe Biden for Energy & Investment and who signed the MoU on behalf of the US Government, added that the agreement highlights the role of both Western and African capital in accelerating the adoption of critical infrastructure vital for improving rural health care, electrification and economic competitiveness within the region.