THE president of Mozambique, Mr Filipe Nyusi, has laid a foundation stone for the reconstruction of the Mutarara - Malawi border section of the Dona Ana - Vila Nova da Fronteira line, which will improve connections between Mozambique and Malawi.

The 44km section, which was decommissioned in 1986 due to fighting in the area, will carry both freight and passenger services from the Port of Beira to Malawi. Malawi imports and exports around 48 million tonnes of freight through Mozambique annually.

The $US 30m project, which will be funded by Mozambique Ports and Railways (CFM), will upgrade the line speed from 30km/h to 60km/h, and increase capacity from a 16.5 tonne axle load to 20.5 tonnes.

The ceremony was attended by the minister of transport and communications, Mr Janfar Abdulai, the minister of health, Mr Armindo Tiago, the deputy minister of sea, inland waters and fisheries, Mr Henriques Bongece, the secretary of state, Ms Elisa Zacarias, the governor of Tete Province, Ms Domingos Viola, a representative of the Malawian Government, and other officials.

Presiding over the ceremony, Nyusi said the reconstructed line would be a major boost to the social and economic wellbeing of Mozambnique.

“With this rail link, the desire of Mozambique and Malawi to improve the logistics of imports and exports between the two countries and with the rest of the region is materialised,” he says.

“The rehabilitation of this infrastructure will contribute to the creation of more than 150 new jobs, in which we intend to hire local labour,” says CFM president and chairman, Mr Miguel Matabel. “We also plan to set up a technical vocational school, which may contribute to the training of staff in this region of the country.”

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