China Expresses Interest in Upgrading Zimbabwe's Transport Network

Deputy Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development Tichaona Mudzingwa told Xinhua in an interview on Monday that the railway project could also stretch to Zambia.

"The Chinese have expressed interest in constructing the trunk road that is Harare-Chinhoyi-Chirundu. They have also expressed interest in the railway from Harare to Chinhoyi and if possible over the Zambezi to Zambia," the deputy minister said.

The road plays a crucial role in facilitating trade among Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

It completes the link between South Africa and countries in North, Central and West Africa.

Mudzingwa said South African, Canadian and Australian companies are also keen to develop the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge road.

He said the Zimbabwe government is keen to have the dualization of the road completed before the start of the World Cup Soccer tournament in South Africa in June next year.

Mudzingwa said the road would be divided into three segments, with each of the three countries developing a section.

The foreign companies would develop the road, estimated to cost in excess of 2. 4 billion U.S. dollars, jointly with local companies, he said.

"Naturally, it is not going to be all foreign companies involved. There is an element of local companies which are involved in road construction which are also going to partner those countries, those which are interested in dualization."

"We are very much interested that as many local companies as possible get involved in this dualization. It is an advantage to them because there is also going to be technology transfer, which we need so much," Mudzingwa said.

Chinese companies are also interested in upgrading Zimbabwe’s airports, telecommunications, mining and the Information Technology sector, among other projects, he said.