The transfer of the Lobito Corridor railroad and logistics support services concession to the Lobito Atlantic Railway (LAR) consortium was completed recently at an official ceremony.
The consortium comprises Trafigura of Switzerland, Mota-Engil of Portugal and Vecturis SA of Belgium.
The handover was attended by Angolan President João Lourenço, an his counterparts from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, Félix Tshisekedi and Hakainde Hichilema.
For the Southern African Development Community, the corridor is seen as an important means of development for the region, with benefits for Angola and its landlocked, mineral-rich neighboutrs due east.
The Lobito Corridor stretches from the Atlantic Ocean port for which it is named, and crosses Angola west to east, passing through the provinces of Benguela, Huambo, Bié and Moxico.
It reaches into the heart of the DRC’s Haut Katanga province where most of Africa’s copper is mined, and is due north of the Copperbelt Province in Zambia.
It is the shortest route to a port from the mining areas of Kolwezi and Lubumbashi in the DRC, and Solwezi in Zambia.
According to a statement from the Angolan Embassy in Ghana, Hakainde Hichilema attended the official dinner hosted by his Ghanaian counterpart as part of a working visit to the country.
The privately managed corridor includes the port itself, Lobito’s Mining Terminal, Catumbela Airport and the Benguela Railway line.
Bilateral relations between Angola and Zambia date back over 40 years, with the signing of the first economic, scientific and technical cooperation in 1979.