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AfDB backs Namibian rail upgrade

21 Jan 2018

NAMIBIA: The African Development Bank has approved a US$153m loan to the government of Namibia to co-finance the upgrading of the 210 km railway running inland from Walvis Bay to Arandis and Kranzberg, as well as the road from Windhoek to the international airport.

The three-year rail rehabilitation project will enable freight trains to run at up to 80 km/h and passenger trains at up to 100 km/h.

AfDB said the 1 067 mm gauge line was last upgraded in the 1960s. Its current condition imposes speed restrictions and increases the cost of transporting goods inland from the port, where AfDB is also providing support for the expansion of the container terminal.

‘This road and rail project will have a welcome effect on Namibia’s ability to integrate with the other members of the Southern African Development Community, improving access to both sea and air ports’, said Amadou Oumarou, director of AfDB’s Infrastructure, Cities & Urban Development Department, when the loan was approved in December