Malawi inland port not in SADC plan

The multi-billion Kwacha Nsanje world inland port does not feature anywhere in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) US$500 billion harmonised infrastructure blue print called SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP).

Malawi President Peter Mutharika told reporters  at the end of the 34th Sadc Summit in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe,  that after discussing the issue of the port at length, member States agreed that there is need to support the construction as some of them will also benefit.

President Mutharika:  I spoke to leaders about Nsanje port
President Mutharika: I spoke to leaders about Nsanje port

But  a communiqué, a legally binding document that also announces agreed decisions and actions, signed by the 15 member states at the Sadc summit, does not mention the Malawi port contrary to  what Mutharika  claimed.

“I have spoken to several heads of states within the SADC on the progress of the port and am happy that they support it,” Mutharika told the media.

Malawi leader’s comment is not reflected by the communiqué.

“Summit noted progress in the review of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan and directed its finalization and the preparation of an Implementation Plan in order to provide guidance towards the implementation of SADC programmes,” reads point 17 in the communiqué.

The RIDMP among other things aims to deal with the region’s deficit in road, rail, ports, power, communication, water infrastructure and meteorology.

“A number of dry port projects are under construction or in the planning stages to facilitate mode interface in the network. The rail link from Mchinji (Malawi) to Chipata (Zambia) will have a cargo terminal to serve the adjacent part of Zambia with rail access through Malawi to the Mozambican seaports.

“A dry port at Dona Ana and a container terminal at Tete(Mozambique) are planned in conjunction with the rehabilitation of the Sena railway line to serve Malawi and eastern Zambia. Other dry ports are planned for Lusaka, Kitwe and Edeolain Zambia, outside Dar-esSalaam in Tanzania, at the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border between South Africa and Mozambique and at Walvis Bay in Namibia,” reads the RIDMP.

Under the transport sector in the 40 pages RIDMP, some projects under Malawi are; theDar-es-Salaam to Chalinze toll road, under the Tanzania, Zambia, DRC and Malawi SADC Dares-Salaam corridor.

The Nakonde –TundumaOSBP Tanzania, Zambia, DRC and Malawi SADC Dares-Salaam corridor. Feasibility studies completed and construction started on Zambian side. MOU signed.

The Mtwara – Liganga -Muchuchuma – Songea – Mbamba railwayTanzania, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique SADC Mtwara corridor. The Japan         InternationalCooperation Agency (JICA) and the National Development Council (NDC) completed the feasibility study.

SADC is facing uncertainty in terms of funding and commitment to roll out the first phase of the ambitious Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP) estimated at US$500 billion.

The phase has a projected cost of US$64 billion.

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