Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia hopeful for Shire-Zambezi Waterway Project takeoff

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Malawi's Transport Minister Francis Kasaila(C) Mozambique's Transport Minister Carlos Mesquitta (L) and the Deputy Minister of Zambia Mutaba Mwali (R) present at the meeting

Transport Ministers from Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia have expressed a mutual feeling of seeing the taking off, of the long awaitedShire-Zambezi Waterway Project.Following a three day 6th Joint ConsultativeCommittee meeting of Ministers, the leaders of delegations from the three countries said that the Shire-Waterway Project is part of Regional Integration that Southern African Development Community(SADC) member states abide to.In an Interview, Malawi’s’ Minister of Transport and Public Works, Francis Kasailasaid the Meeting was aimed at reviewing and adopting a report by the Hydro plan GmbH (pvt) Limited a consultant procured by SADC to work on the feasibility study.

Kasaila said “as you are aware, each country has a different perspective of the project, so now it is the time to analyse all the data’s of each country and explore options available to pave the way forward.“So this meeting is trying to find out a middle ground from all the three countries and correct all the recommendations that the Consultant has pointed out,” said Kasaila.The Minister said it was comforting to knowthat all the three countries have a commongoal and willing to compromise so that everyone benefits from the project.And in his remarks, Minister of Transport in Mozambique, Carlos Mesquitta said the feeling is mutual that all the countries want to see the transport cost reduced.

He however expressed, worry over the report which he says is providing contradictory results which he was hopeful would be ironed out before the end of the meeting.“You see we all know that water transportation is cheaper than any other channel of transportation, but the report shows that he project is very much expensive and considering that we have invested a lot of money it is not good news.But the meeting is still ongoing we hope it will ironed out,” he said.

Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport of Zambia, Mutaba Mwali sa id, his country is very much committed to see that the project is a success.The Shire-Zambezi Waterway feasibility study according to the Consultants is a viable project and it will only require the commitments of the three countries to see it come to pass.The report is expected to be adopted in November 2015 in Zambia.

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