Kazungula Bridge and one-stop border post, set to be completed by the end of the 2020, is set to expedite the clearance and movement of tourists among several African countries.
The 923-metre-long, 18.5-metre-wide bridge will link the towns of Kazungula in Zambia, Kasane in Botswana, and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Its location traverses the intersection of the Zambezi and Chobe rivers. At this point, four countries – Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe – meet.
The African Development Bank (ADB) says that in just 24 months, travelling between water-rich but land-locked Zambia and Botswana will get easier, smoother and faster, when the new road and rail bridge, currently under construction across the Zambezi, is commissioned for public use.
The development has been facilitated by a tripartite arrangement between Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe on the North-South Corridor within the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region, and is part of a corridor-long infrastructure improvement programme to enhance regional trade and integration.
The Kazungula Bridge was initially spearheaded by Botswana, Zambia and development partners before Zimbabwe was brought on board in March 2018, after presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, Ian Khama of Botswana, and Edgar Lungu of Zambia jointly inspected the progress of the multi-million-dollar project.
The commissioning is timeous, considering that Zimbabwe and Zambia are engaging regional counterparts Botswana, Angola and Namibia over the possibility of adopting the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Uni-visa to expedite the movement of tourists.
The KAZA Uni-visa was introduced as a pilot project between Zambia and Zimbabwe during the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly, co-hosted by the two countries in 2013.
Costing US$50, the Uni-Visa has resulted in an increase in tourists who visit the two countries. It also entitles the holder to cross over for a day trip to the Chobe National Park in Botswana during the 30-day period. Only those from eligible countries can apply for the Uni-Visa.