NAMIBIA: Work has started on a project to rehabilitate Trans-Namib’s main line from Walvis Bay to Swakopmund as part of a government-backed project to develop a transport and logistics hub serving southern Africa.

Minister of Works & Transport John Mutorwa attended an event to mark the start of work on upgrading the 108 km section of line between Walvis Bay and Arandis, which is being refurbished under a N$1·03bn contract awarded to China Gezhouba Group Corp in December 2019. Expected to take 821 days, this work is being 44% funded by a loan from the African Development Bank, with the remainder coming from the Namibian government.

The next section from Arandis to Kranzberg will be refurbished by a joint venture of Qingjian GroupCo and Unik Construction Engineering under a contract announced in January 2020.

According to Mutorwa, the country’s vision is to become a logistics hub for the inland regions of the Southern African Development Community, as it shares borders with Angola, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia. Having good ports, road and rail networks would help to improve Namibia’s competitiveness, he explained on November 30, adding that around 70% of the national rail network is to be rehabilitated as part of the programme.