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Mozambique to commission Africa’s largest suspension bridge

As many as 3,000 foreign guests, among them regional heads of state, are expected to attend the the inauguration of the Maputo-KaTembe bridge on Saturday, APA can report.The Chief Executive Office of Empresa de Desenvolvimento de Maputo Sul, Silva Magaia, made the announcement Friday. Empresa de Desenvolvimento de Maputo Sul is the state body responsible for the project.

“It’s all set. We are expecting 3,000 foreign guests among regional leaders who will attend the inauguration ceremony in Maputo, and if we had to evaluate in percentage terms I would say that we are 99.9% ready for the inauguration and confirmed guests”, Mgaia told APA in an interview on Friday.

The three-kilometre-long Maputo-Katembe Bridge will be inaugurated Saturday by President Nyusi, coinciding with the 131st anniversary of Maputo’s elevation to city status.

The bridge from Maputo to Katembe known as Ponte de Maputo a Ka-tembe is being constructed across the Maputo Bay in southern Mozambique by China’s Roads and Bridges Construction (CRBC) at the cost of $785 million funded through a loan to Mozambique by China’s Import and Export, EXIM bank.

Construction began in 2014, to connect the Mozambican capital Maputo on the northern bank with Katembe on the southern bank, and it will be the longest suspension bridge on the African continent.

The bridge provides for the first time a direct land connection between the two sides of Maputo Bay with a span of 700 meters and two approach ramps over two kilometres long. Seventy-five tonnes of steel and 300,000 cubic metres of concrete were used in its construction.

China financed the construction of the US$785 million bridge, employing 3,800 local and 450 Chinese workers, as well as 50 engineers and consultants from countries such as Germany, England, Russia and Greece.

The bridge project also involved the construction of 180 kilometres of road linking Katembe to Ponta do Ouro which boarders Mozambique and South Africa.

In addition to the Maputo-Catembe bridge, the CBRC is in charge of building the Maputo Circular Road and another in Niassa province, which runs to the border with Malawi, with funding from the African Development Bank.

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