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A Chinese state enterprise will build Angola’s first highway

Under the agreement, the new 1,400-km highway should begin construction as early as the end of 2025
  • The new highway is intended to serve as a ‘development corridor,’ improving connections between Angola and several other parts of Africa

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UPDATED: 24 Jun 2024, 7:33 am

The state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is set to build Angola’s first highway, a roughly 1,400-km-long road linking the north and south of the country.

Carlos dos Santos, Angolan minister of public works, urbanism and housing, explained that the highway, stretching from the province of Cunene in the south to the northwestern provinces of Zaire and Cabinda, will also connect the country to neighbouring Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

CRBC will begin studies “soon after” the signing of a memorandum of understanding, scheduled to take place during the China-Africa Cooperation Forum in Beijing between 3 and 8 September. Feasibility studies should be finalised by the “middle or end of 2025,” at which point CRBC will invest “around US$50-75 million” in the project.

CRBC has an established record in the country, opening its Angola office just three years after the conclusion of the civil war in 2002. In the nearly two decades since, it has built or restored roads, bridges, housing, municipal buildings, ports and airports in a country where decades of conflict have devastated existing infrastructure.

[See more: China’s CRBC has submitted a proposal for a light rail project in Mozambique]

Once CRBC finalises the studies and projects, the two parties will decide whether this public-private partnership will include a subsequent concession and the installation of tolls, a framework that places “greater responsibility” on the private sector partner. Dos Santos predicted construction would begin “at the end of 2025 or in 2026” and cost around US$2.5 billion in total.

The new highway is intended to serve as a “development corridor”, according to dos Santos, bringing Angola closer to “related regions such as Southern Africa, Central Africa and North Africa” and make Angolans “better prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.”

The announcement, and dos Santos’s, comments came on the sidelines of the Forum of Portuguese Language Engineers, part of the 15th International Forum on Investment and Infrastructure Construction in Macao. 

The minister also extended an invitation to the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute and the China-based International Trade Association for Lusophone Markets to send delegations to the upcoming Luanda International Fair from 23 to 28 July.

UPDATED: 24 Jun 2024, 7:33 am

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