The World Bank is collaborating with China to finance an infrastructure project in Africa. The two have pledged a total of $444 million, which will be supplemented by $156 million from the Congolese government, to rehabilitate the country’s dilapidated rail network.
The project targets 700 kilometers of rail in the southern and central Congolese provinces of Kasai and Katanga, the heart of the country’s copper mining industry. Because of the poor condition of the network, many Congolese have opted to use the country’s waterways to travel, resulting in hundreds of deaths due to drowning each year, Reuters reports.
“We want to bring hope, both to the employees of SNCC and to the populations reliant on the rail network,” Pozzo Di Borgo, a World Bank transport specialist, said May 12.
SNCC is the railway network’s operator. About a fifth of the $244 million World Bank investment in the deal will finance retirement packages of 4,000 SNCC workers who could not quit because they had not been paid.
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