Diversification and Development,or “White Elephants”? Transport in Angola’s Lobito Corridor
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Original versionBergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Report R 2015:07) 44 p.
The Angolan government has put much emphasis on rehabilitating and expanding the country’s transport infrastructure. Assisted by oil revenues, foreign construction companies, credits lines and loans Angola has embarked upon a major reconstruction. One of the main efforts in this area has been the Lobito Corridor, which connects the Atlantic port of Lobito with Angola’s interior as well as the neighbouring countries of DR Congo and Zambia. A major component of this effort has been the rehabilitation of the Benguela railway that runs between Lobito and the eastern border of DR Congo. With Chinese assistance, rehabilitation began in 2005 and was officially completed in August 2014. The first regular train from Lobito arrived at Luau on the border with DR Congo in February 2015. This report analyses progress in developing transport infrastructure in this Lobito Corridor. What has been achieved? What are the main remaining challenges? Will this corridor become an engine for economic diversification and social and economic development? Will these investments in transport also lead to development for poor and vulnerable people living in the corridor? Or will this new infrastructure end up as a “white elephant” that slowly degenerates as result of poor management and insufficient maintenance?