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The Kasumbalesa border is located near the town of Chililabombwe Zambia and is the main gateway to the mineral rich Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, connecting it with Zambia and onward, through the regional trade corridors to major ports in the region.

Kasumbalesa attracts traffic originating from or destined to the ports of South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Namibia, as well as traffic originating from or destined to various SADC countries. The main traffic is comprised of high value minerals (copper, cobalt ) and mining input such as coal, sulphur, fuel, sulphuric acid as well as construction material, mining equipment, agricultural produce, food, etc.

The border crossing had long been identified by SADC, COMESA and the North South Corridor forums as one of the main regional obstacles for the flow of regional trade and therefore earmarked by the regional heads of state as one of the main priority areas towards the introduction of stat-of-the-art newly constructed facilities. Adequate border crossing facilities is a critical element for the flow of traffic from and to the DRC and it is therefore considered as a "Life Line" to the regional economies.

The Government of the Republic of Zambia had contracted the Zambian (IP) Border Crossing Company to implement the Design, Build Operate and Transfer DBOT project aimed to:

  • To design, build, finance, commission and operate a state-of-the-art dual direction border crossing point on the Zambian side of the Kasumbalesa border, as per international standards

  • Transform this busy crossing point into a world class facility to accommodate the increasing traffic level, for the benefit of all involved, cargo owners, road haulers, Government agencies and the people of the SADC countries

  • To ensure that the design and plans shall allow the implementation of a “One Stop Border” concept based on the processing of both, South and North Bound traffic at the newly constructed facilities

  • The project was executed on a DBOT/PPP approach

Commencement of the new Kasumbalesa border crossing 

For the construction of the new border teams of hundreds of construction workers worked in shifts towards the completion of construction on February 2011, just 10 months after construction had started.

By March-2011 at an eventful opening ceremony held by the president of Zambia the new Kasumbalesa border opened its entry gate for the first trucks, and is fully operational since then while ever evolving to accommodate for increase of traffic 

Project Benefits

The rationale behind the project is easily explained by describing the 360 degrees of positive impact to all key stake-holders:



The new facilities provides: sufficient office space, secured office facilities, adequate number of counters and computers enabling fast tracking of commercial truck drivers in terms of Customs and Immigration procedures.

  • Increased efficiency of various Government agencies

  • Increased Government collection and funds inflows

  • Improved co-ordination between various Government agencies

  • Construction of modern facilities at no direct cost to Government

  • Improved environment for monitoring goods and people to ensure compliance with international laws and standards on the transportation of goods


Transporters, Drivers and cargo owners:

  • Reduced crossing times

  • Shorter turn-around times resulting in higher utilization of the same fleet

  • Secured environment for the cargo owners

  • Shorter credit time for products sold on a FOB basis, thus improved cash flow to all involved

  • Clean, secure parking environment for drivers with essential sanitary conditions

  • Separation between passenger traffic and commercial traffic, while improving the crossing experience for the passengers


Social and Community:

  • Employment creation and work related benefits (health, pension, etc.)

  • New business opportunities to the local community

  • Decongestion of the area while improving the “quality of living” alongside the road and within the proximity of the border area

  • Knowledge transfer in IT related jobs


  • Improve traffic flow throughout the region for the benefit of all regional countries

  • Increasing the trade capacity of the border allowing for improved processing of larger volumes of passengers and goods

  • Regional integration efforts to harmonize cross border policies and procedures aimed to implement a Customs Union


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