WINDHOEK, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) — The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved 196.43 million U.S. dollars in loan for Namibia to implement the second phase of its Transport Infrastructure Improvement Project (TIIP).
The bank said in a statement that the loan, which was approved Tuesday, represents 51.8 percent of the project’s total cost, while the Namibian government will provide the remaining 48.2 percent.
According to the statement, the project entails constructing 207 km of new rail track close to the existing line between Kranzberg and Otjiwarongo, using concrete railway sleepers and new rails.
The works include constructing 16 bridges, renovating two stations, and procuring 55,000 tonnes of rails to build 518 km of track.
Other components include modernizing the railway signaling system along the Walvis Bay-Tsumeb line to improve its reliability, safety, and capacity, as well as the overall performance of the railway system.
AfDB’s Director General for Southern Africa Leila Mokaddem said in the statement that the project will maximize the benefits and be transformative for the competitiveness of Namibia and assist in attaining the Vision of the country becoming a regional logistics hub by 2030 while catalyzing development change in neighboring countries and the sub-region.
“This project will also connect Namibia to Africa’s Copper Belt, and achieve regional railway connectivity,” she added.
Meanwhile, having previously funded the expansion of the container terminal at the Port of Walvis Bay, the AfDB supports integrating Namibia regionally by building critical port and rail infrastructure to connect the country to the rest of the region, move goods, support value chains, and promote trade.
The AfDB Group has been operating in Namibia since 1991. As of Sept. 30, 2023, the Bank Group’s active portfolio in Namibia was estimated at approximately 687 million U.S. dollars, split among 10 operations in six sectors.