THE Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has entered into an agreement with Trans Connexion Congo (TCC) to jointly develop a 300km mass transit system in Kinshasa, Africa’s most populous city, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Kinshasa Urban Train project (MetroKin) will be built in four phases, with the first 25km phase running from Kinshasa central station to N’Djili International Airport.

The cost of the first phase has been estimated at $US 250m, and includes rebuilding the existing 1067-mm gauge route as a double-track 1435mm-gauge line, building eight stations, new signalling, and the construction and rehabilitation of bridges along the route. The MetroKin project was conceived and developed by TCC, which carried out the feasibility studies that preceded the signing of the joint development agreement with AFC and partnership agreements between the City of Kinshasa and the Commercial Company of Transport and Ports (SCTP).

AFC is making an initial $US 3m investment towards the completion of project development activities that will take the project to financial close by the fourth quarter of 2023, as currently planned. In addition to its role as a co-developer and investor, AFC is also Mandated Lead Arranger for the project.

Kinshasa’s population has grown rapidly over the last few decades, far outpacing the development and maintenance of transport infrastructure in the city, which is severely congested with the existing transport system only meeting 47% of daily demand.

The MetroKin project aims to refurbish and expand the existing rail network, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and improving transport and accessibility. It should deliver a significant reduction in journey times between the suburbs and the city centre, further increasing economic productivity.

“The project will support local job creation with 1500 direct and indirect jobs in the construction and operational phases, transforming the lives of citizens and boosting DRC’s economic growth,” says AFC senior director, project development and technical solutions, Mr Amadou Wadda.

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