Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) announced on Thursday that it entered into a joint development agreement with Trans Connexion Congo (TCC), to develop a 300-kilometre railway-based mass transit system in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

TCC is the promoter of the Kinshasa Urban Train project (MetroKin).

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

The project is to be executed in four phases – in the first phase, the existing 25km railway track between the central station of Kinshasa to the city’s N’Djili International Airport would be completely replaced.

Amadu Wadda, Senior Director, Project Development & Technical Solutions at Africa Finance Corporation said: “We are pleased to partner with TCC and all the other project stakeholders (SCTP and the City of Kinshasa) on this critical project that aims to rapidly industrialise DRC’s capital city, Kinshasa, through its rail transportation system. The project will support local job creation with 1,500 direct and indirect jobs at the construction and operational phases, transforming the lives of citizens and boosting DRC’s economic growth.”

Erick Onepunga Yongo, Managing Director of TCC said the company conceived the project from the beginning and carried out the feasibility studies that preceded the signing of the joint development agreement with AFC and the partnership agreements between the City of Kinshasa and SCTP.

“TCC's dream of modernising the rail transport in Kinshasa is in line with the vision of the Congolese President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi,” he said.

AFC is one of the largest investors in Africa’s transportation infrastructure, acting as mandated lead arranger in the $365 million Henri Konan Bedie Bridge in Cote D’Ivoire, which provides quick and easy access to the centre of Abidjan; and the $160 million Bakwena Toll Road in South Africa, which has led to significant reductions in the time and cost of travel to and from Pretoria.

(Writing by SA Kader; Editing by Anoop Menon)