There is often a confusion whenever people relate with the two Congos in Africa, and till date many people cannot phantom why they both go by the same name.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (also referred to as DR Congo, DRC or Congo-Kinshasa) was colonized by the Belgians, and despite its huge deposits of mineral resources, is one of the poorest and most dangerous countries in the world today.
On the other hand, the Republic of Congo (otherwise known as Congo-Brazzaville) was colonized by the French. It is 60 sports higher that the Democratic Republic of Congo on income rankings chart and is considered one of the safest countries in the continent of Africa.
During the just concluded Africa Development Bank Investment Forum in South Africa, both countries took huge steps towards building their economies through strengthening relationship and diplomatic ties by signing an agreement to jointly constrict a bridge across the River Congo which separates the capital cities of both countries. The bridge will link Kinshasa and Brazzaville.
The project is estimated to cost about 550 million USD and will be funded through a public-private partnership model, while Africa50 will act as main developer who will 'lead the project development providing strategic partners and equity for the construction'.
The statement and blueprint of the bridge released during the forum in South Africa reveals that the project will include a railway track, toll bridge, and road/sidewalk.
Speaking on the development, Jean-Jacques Bouya, Minister of Large Construction Works of the Republic of Congo said:
“Upgrading the infrastructure of the Republic of Congo is one of our foremost priorities, in particular, transport, which can help us diversify our economy through increased trade and investment.
“The positive socio-economic impacts from this project will be significant, stimulating trade and economic growth and creating jobs in the Republic of Congo and beyond.”
It was however believed that both governments of DRC and RC have been working on this project as far back as 2007 when initial protocols were signed.
Commending the initiative, Nigeria's Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, said; “This project is just the beginning, more will follow.”
Before now, travels between the two countries was only possible by Boat or Airplanes.
Photo Credit: Medair/Phil Moore