Presenting the bill in the house, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Joseph Mwanamveka, said the project is targeting the entire Nacala road corridor from Lusaka in Zambia through Malawi to the Nacala port in Mozambique. He said this is the on-going Multinational Nacala Road corridor development which the African Development Bank and other development partners are already supporting in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique targeting more than 2 million who are the corridor users from the three countries.
The project will facilitate the rehabilitation of a 55 kilometer road between Nsipe and Liwonde and the construction of a One stop boarder post between Malawi and Mozambique at Chiponde in Mangochi district where a modern weighbridge will be constructed as part of structures at the border post.
Mwanamveka said the project will among others support in addressing the country’s major challenge to regional integration which is high cost of transportation. He said it will also facilitate trade between Malawi and other countries and eliminate high transportation costs.
“The main drivers for high transportation costs in the country among other things include; long distances to sea-ports, poor road infrastructure, excessive delays due to lengthy clearing processes at ports and border crossings, small trucking market and low trade volumes due to small size of the economy,” said Mwanamveka.
He added that the project will help improve efficiency of these corridors and has a direct bearing on Malawi’s trade competitiveness and economic growth.
The project is being co-financed by the African Development Fund, the European Union and Malawi government. The five - year project will begin this year and run up to 2014.
Meanwhile the house has adopted a motion to allow the minister to proceed with the process of passing the bill on Monday next week. The week just ended is the fourth out of five for this year’s national budget meeting.