Hichilema rallies partners for Lobito Corridor, eyes US$15 billion boost

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PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has rallied businesses and global partners behind the Lobito Corridor project, a key infrastructure initiative promising to unlock immense economic and social benefits for the region.

The Lobito Corridor will link the copper-rich Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia to Angola’s Lobito port, addressing current logistical hurdles hindering copper and cobalt exports. 

Over 250 business leaders gathered in Lusaka yesterday for the Lobito Corridor Private Sector Investment Forum, emphasising the project’s potential.

President Hichilema stressed the broader impact of the corridor, citing significant economic and social improvements. 

He lauded the contributions of partners like the EU, US, and African Development Bank, while expressing gratitude to DRC and Angola for facilitating Zambia’s participation.

Hichilema urged swift action, calling the project a “once-in-a-generation endeavor.” 

He advocated for concrete steps like signing agreements and establishing action plans with deadlines, bypassing bureaucratic delays.

Addressing climate concerns, the President highlighted the corridor’s potential to mitigate climate change by leveraging existing assets.

The Head of State also called for fair funding practices, advocating for technology transfer, joint ventures, and partnerships to optimize resource utilization.

Hichilema urged private, public, and capital providers to identify specific opportunities the corridor presents, reiterating his urgency and commitment to the project.

This project goes beyond infrastructure development. It’s estimated that upon completion, the Lobito Corridor could increase Zambia’s exports to a staggering $15 billion, marking a significant leap forward for the nation’s economy.

By Moses Makwaya

Kalemba February 9, 2024

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