A SIGNING ceremony in Washington DC on June 27 marked a milestone for Central East African Railway’s plans to develop an integrated rail corridor linking Zambia and Malawi with the Mozambique port of Nacala.

CEAR Chairman Robert Pietrandrea signed an accord with the President & CEO of the US Overseas Private Investment Corp Dr Peter Watson and Chairman of Corredor de Desenvolvimento do Norte Alberto Joaquin Chipando. Also present were US Secretary of State Colin Powell, the President of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano, Vice-President of Malawi Justin Malewezi and President of Zambia Levy Mwanawasa.

CDN holds the15-year concession to operate and manage the Mozambique section of the Nacala railway and the port on the Indian Ocean. Partners in the consortium are CEAR backers Railroad Development Corp and Edlow Resources, with Manica, Mozambican private investors and state railway CFM.

The accord sets out terms for OPIC to provide US$29·6m to help finance upgrading of the 77 km section between Cuamba and the Malawi border at Entre Lagos, including drainage works to avoid flood damage, as well as improvements at the port. The deal was described as a ’tangible and long-term demonstration of US-Africa economic growth’.

  • USAID has allocated US$100000 towards the renewal of the Rivi Rivi river bridge at Balaka on CEAR’s Malawi network.