Botswana and Zambia collectively own the bridge, funded by toll fees and administered by the Kazungula Bridge Authority, which was created to operate and maintain the infrastructure on behalf of the two nations. The project cost $259m, with finance provided by the two governments, the African Development Bank, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and the European Union-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund. Trade specialists say that trading infrastructure development is a key driver for the progress and sustainable economic growth of the African continent. Carlos Lopez, economist and professor at the University of Cape Town, says the Kazungula Bridge will dramatically reduce the time and cost of moving freight, building on the example of the “game-changing” Senegambia Bridge between Senegal and Gambia. Despite its grand entry, the opening of the Kazungula Bridge has been marred by concerns over what some trade bodies have described as exorbitant toll fees, which they say could seriously undermine trade unless reduced. The border authority is charging $6 for bikes, $15 for small cars, $65 for a bus with a trailer and $85 for a truck with a trailer.
SOURCE: AFRICAN BUSINESS
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