Development is development – whether this takes place this week, this month, or after others have done their bit
By Terrence Mwedzi
It is heartening and encouraging to note that Botswana and Zambia this week jointly opened the Kazungula bridge.
Surely the $259.3 million bridge, which is 923 meters long, is expected to facilitate access to international markets through connectivity with major seaports and to improve the ‘much-needed efficiency of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The avid readers of this leading online publication – Digital Sunday Express – will totally agree with me that the Kazungula Bridge demonstrated the noble, and strong relations between two regional countries (Zambia and Botswana).
The road was tough and rough at the same time as many setbacks were experienced; the Kazungula project started in 2014.
In sharp contrast, this will undoubtedly open fresh investment opportunities in the region-which is paramount.
Personally, l am feeling happy about this latest multi-million project because It shows that if we continue working together as Africans will move mountains and grow our economies.
We need co-operation and unity of purpose in Africa. Period.
Furthermore, the governments of China, South Korea, Japan, and the African Development Bank should be commended for their *financial support*.
They indeed played a good role and worked tirelessly to make the Kazunguzula project a huge success.
And the facility is expected to promote regional and continental integration and enhance intra-African trade through SADC and COMESA, as well as bring to fruition the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Kazungula bridge is clearly a giant development for the entire region.
The truckers have been presented with an alternative, it is the mere truth that some of them might decide to use Kazungula Bridge instead of Beitbridge, a port that has had its own dozens of challenges.
The pressure or the movement and flow of goods and services at the Beitbridge border post will be eased. Congestion has been cited as the major setback there.
Our region is now open for serious trade and business traffic.
We are eager to see/witness trade improvement in our region.
Zambian President Edgar Lungu said: “The Kazungula bridge was worth the effort, and the transit traffic through Kazungula will greatly improve due to reduced transit time as well as improved trade facilitation measures because of the inclusion of the one-stop border post”.
Sure we are moving in the right direction.
Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi also said: “By and large, that will significantly accelerate the SADC’s regional integration process which we are vigorously pursuing.”
I am also glad that Zimbabwe is expected to be part of this great project and prepared to pay its shares of bills and be a trusted neighbour.
In the same vein, Zimbabwe is fully acknowledged despite the ugly past because history will tell us that the late Cde Mugabe was once encouraged to join the Kazungula project – but he ignored it.
By the way, let bygones be bygones.
And the Second Republic is now expected to change the narratives and we are waiting for that.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe will be part of the project – which is good. This must be fulfilled.
“This is a milestone achievement in our SADC region. I wish to thank sincerely my brothers, President Masisi and President Lungu, who in 2018 invited Zimbabwe to be part of this project, indeed in the fullness of time, Zimbabwe will be part of this project.
“I reiterate Zimbabwe’s commitment to be part of this project for the benefit of our SADC region,” he said.
Now we need to work together not to oppose everything for the sake of opposing like the enemies of progress doing in Zimbabwe.
Development is development- no matter how big or small the project is – or whether this takes place this week this month or after others have done their bit.
We need to change our mindset, think positively, and tell good stories about our beloved nation Zimbabwe all the time.
Terrence Mwedzi is a writer and poet. He writes to the Digital Sunday Express in his personal capacity and can be contacted on +27611370088. Email: email@example.com
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