DRC INFRASTRUCTURE EXPANSION:
Kasumbalesa Dry Port, A Gateway To Seven Seaports
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