LUSAKA — A tripartite deal aimed at enhancing connectivity in order to enhance business in Africa has been signed, a statement released on Friday said.

The Lobito Corridor Transit Transport agreement was signed by Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Zambia on Friday in the Angolan capital Luanda, according to the statement released by Zambia’s Ministry of Transport and Logistics.

According to the statement, the agreement will unlock the business potential along the corridor through effective participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in the value chains as well as boost private sector investment in the three countries.

Frank Tayali, Zambia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics, said the agreement will also ease the movement of people, goods and services as well as improve and stimulate regional connectivity and integration through the implementation of harmonized trade facilitation instruments.

The agreement, he added, will provide Zambia with an alternative strategic outlet to the Western and European export markets and offers a key route to the sea Port of Lobito.

He, however, said there was an urgent need to constitute governing organs and structures of the Lobito Corridor to actualize the quick implementation of the agreement.

According to him, the mere signing of the agreement without actualizing its content and aspirations will be futile hence the need to ratify it in order to enter into force.

“I have also noted that our technical experts are yet to develop the tripartite and railway transport agreements which will be additions to this agreement.

“In this regard, I wish to encourage our technical experts to start formulating these agreements as they are key to the successful implementation of the transport corridor agreement,” he said. 

The Lobito Corridor represents an alternative strategic outlet to export markets for the DRC and Zambia and offers the shortest route linking key mining regions to the sea. – Xinhua