BY DONALD NYANDORO
Unitrans Africa has partnered the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Caminhos de Ferro de Mocambique (CFM) and Traxtion in repairing rail link between Maputo Port and Zimbabwe’s three major trade hubs –Harare, Bulawayo and Gweru to spur trade in the rest of Africa.
Unitrans Africa chief executive Rob Hayworth said they are focussed on accelerating Africa’s growth and opportunities that involve public private partnership such as this dedicated service, a testament to their commitment in communities.
“Africa as a continent rich in mineral wealth has high export demand for use in the production of finished goods. In correlation these facilities, alongside a growing population, create demand for the import of goods and services in support thereof.
“This dedicated rail service aims to reduce transit times, increase efficiency and offer a more reliable service. Beyond this the service compliments initiatives to improve health and safety through lightening the load on an already overburdened road infrastructure,” Hayworth said.
The rail link which has been operational since June 16 this year enables importers and exporters to utilise Maputo’s multi-purpose deep-water port, connecting customers in the hinterland with their global trade partners and vice versa.
Hayworth further added that this new transport service will be a game-changer for stakeholders and underscored Unitrans Africa’s commitment to drive sustainable growth within sub-Saharan Africa.
“Until now this key section of rail has been largely underutilised and is vital for providing access to trade routes across the globe. We look forward to grow and develop this positive trade solution as we engage and respond to our customers’ changing needs. Agility and innovation is core to our business strategy,” he said.
The initiative is taking a leading role towards the global focus on sustainability, and improved environmental impact, as rail transport reduces carbon emissions by nearly 80% in comparison to road freight.
Maputo port is proving vital to its renewed position as a global transit hub, as it is strategically connected with extensive road and rail connections throughout Southern Africa, and shipping routes to and from the Middle East, Europe and East Asia.