DRC IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE EX­PAN­SION:

Ka­sum­balesa Dry Port, A Gate­way To Seven Sea­ports

Forbes - - RICHES SELF-MADE WOMEN - By Paul Trust­full

As the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo (DRC) con­tin­ues to invest in in­fra­struc­ture, the Ka­sum­balesa Dry Port brings the prom­ise of sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties. The new $300 mil­lion dry port fa­cil­ity at the DRC-Zam­bia bor­der is an ex­am­ple of the na­tion’s com­mit­ment to ma­jor projects with na­tional and in­ter­na­tional im­pact.

As an in­land in­ter­modal ter­mi­nal, Ka­sum­balesa will sup­port ex­panded trade and serve as a busi­ness hub for African re­gional eco­nomic com­mu­ni­ties. It will be able to handle five times the cur­rent fa­cil­ity’s ca­pac­ity.

Com­mis­sioned in June by DRC Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila — the project’s vi­sion­ary — the Ka­sum­balesa Dry Port is a pub­lic-pri­vate project of the DRC’s Mul­ti­modal Freight Man­age­ment Of­fice (OGEFREM), the African Roads Ltd. and China Rail­way Con­struc­tion.

A Strate­gic Trans­port Hub

Ka­sum­balesa was cho­sen for its strate­gic lo­ca­tion along Na­tional Road No. 1 and the Trans-African in­ter­na­tional road net­work that con­nects North and South Africa, said OGEFREM Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Pa­tient Say­iba Tambwe. “It is the junc­tion point for al­most all trans­port cor­ri­dors serv­ing the coun­tries of south­ern Africa and re­mains the clos­est gate­way to ports on the coast of the In­dian Ocean,” he said.

“A dry port serves as a com­mer­cial and lo­gis­ti­cal li­ai­son with a sea­port, ca­pa­ble of us­ing all modes of land trans­port and of­fer­ing the usual ser­vices of a port,” Tambwe explained. “The Ka­sum­balesa Dry Port goes be­yond this def­i­ni­tion be­cause it will be con­nected not only with one but seven in­ter­na­tional sea­ports: Dar es Salaam, Na­cala, Beira, Dur­ban, Port El­iz­a­beth, Walvis Bay and Lo­bito.”

Thierry Kalonji, di­rec­tor of in­dus­try and agri­cul­ture for the Com­mon Mar­ket for Eastern and South­ern Africa (COMESA), de­scribed the project as a game-changer for trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion at the bor­der.

Ef­fi­cient Cus­toms Clear­ance

The dry port will have a cus­toms clear­ance ca­pac­ity of more than 2,500 trucks per day, com­pared to the cur­rent ca­pac­ity of 500. That trans­lates to shorter wait times and more ef­fi­cient trans­port of goods at the bor­der post. A one-stop shop will fur­ther stream­line op­er­a­tions on the ad­min­is­tra­tive side.

Ka­sum­balesa Dry Port will of­fer an in­stalled ca­pac­ity of 30 mil­lion tons per year, and a fuel stor­age ca­pac­ity of up to 40 mil­lion liters. The pipe­line com­po­nent of the project will ex­tend from Ka­sum­balesa to Kol­wezi via Lubum­bashi and Likasi.

Vice Prime Min­is­ter Jose Mak­ila, who is also DRC’s min­is­ter for trans­port and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, said the dry port fa­cil­ity will be con­structed to in­ter­na­tional stan­dards: “With ap­pro­pri­ate equip­ment, the fa­cil­ity will handle the func­tion­al­i­ties of a mar­itime port, among them cargo-han­dling, stor­age, in­spec­tion, quar­an­tine, im­mi­gra­tion and clear­ance of goods.”

In­no­va­tive Ini­tia­tive For In­fra­struc­ture

Con­struc­tion is ex­pected to take 36 months. The project will cre­ate more than 2,000 di­rect jobs and more than 5,000 in­di­rect jobs in the bor­der re­gion. It will also spur re­lated growth of ur­ban in­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing hos­pi­tals, schools, and sports and re­cre­ation cen­ters.

“On a re­gional and po­lit­i­cal level, the port will in­crease the weight of our na­tion within the sub­re­gion of sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa and make the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo the cen­tral hub for African re­gional in­te­gra­tion,” Tambwe said.

Among those at­tend­ing the dry port launch cer­e­mony were the DRC prime min­is­ter, the vice prime min­is­ter and the di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Mul­ti­modal Freight Man­age­ment Of­fice (OGEFREM).

OGEFREM CEO Pa­tient Say­iba Tambwe and DRC Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila

Ka­sum­balesa Dry Port site map

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