Botswana Railways

Competition for minerals heats up as US and China vie to build rail megaprojects

In depth
Issue 500 - 18 Feb 2024 - By Marc Howard | 11 minute read

Rivalry between the world’s two most powerful nations is driving a rush to build strategic export-focused railway infrastructure in Africa on a scale not seen since the height of the Cold War.

Washington’s $500m commitment to the minerals export-focused Lobito Corridor has been countered by a $1bn Chinese proposal to rehabilitate the creaking Tazara line. The two megaprojects will have terminals close together in the Copperbelt, but geopolitical considerations are likely to prevent any interconnection, writes Marc Howard.

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