China-built Maputo Bridge boosts Mozambique's development
The southern African nation of Mozambique, an ardent supporter of the Belt and Road Initiative, has been stepping up cooperation with China in numerous areas, particularly in infrastructure.
The China-built Maputo Bridge is one of the projects which has been playing a positive role in promoting economic and social development.
The Maputo Bridge, dubbed the city's new postcard, is the longest twin-tower suspension bridge in Africa.
Stretching over 3 kilometers, the bridge links the capital, Maputo, to the neighboring town of Catembe in the south.
China-built Maputo Bridge greatly facilitates transportation across the Maputo Bay and links Mozambique to South Africa. [Photo: China Plus]
Odorico Ernesto is a truck driver from Moamba, which is less than 100 km from Maputo.
He's been transporting construction materials to Catembe for years.
Now with the Maputo Bridge, the previous 6-hour travel time for him has been reduced to 4 hours, which he says has increased his work efficiency and income.
"It takes me a much shorter time from Moamba to Katembe after the Maputo Bridge opened to traffic. I don't have to take detours now and it greatly facilitates my work. The Maputo Bridge is fantastic and I hope Chinese companies will carry our more infrastructure projects like this in Mozambique."
The longest suspension bridge in Africa also has a significant number of technological innovations and achievements being made, which authorities say have attracted many students from western countries.
Bai Pengyu, general manager of CRBC's Mozambique Office, says the technology being applied in the project is open to those who want to learn about Chinese standards.
"Many engineering postgraduates from Germany came to learn. We opened our construction sites, labs and internal learning materials as well as the calculation process to them, and they could conduct related calculations by themselves too. The purpose was for them to know that the process of calculation and design ideas all reflect Chinese wisdom and Chinese standards. Our standards can be put up for test and check in Europe and don't have any safety problems. And the Europeans have approved our standards after having done calculations themselves."
The quality of the Maputo Bridge is being hailed by numerous engineering firms that have been invited to participate in the design and safety controls of the bridge.
The Maputo Bridge Project has also created numerous job opportunities for the locals.
It is estimated that more than 3-thousand locals were employed during the height of the project.
Technicians have also been trained, which they say have bolstered their re-employability.
Felix Manhiga has been working on the project for four years, taking care of the hundreds of materials in the warehouse.
Felix Manhiga is seen working on the Maputo Bridge project. [Photo: China Plus]
He says the job has not only improved his family's living standards but also enhanced his job competitiveness.
"Before working at China Road and Bridge Corporation, I had no job. After having worked here for four years, I have bought land of my own, on which I am building a house. I have learned many skills from the job, for instance, I can operate many machinery equipment now. Besides, I have also mastered some Chinese and I can have some simple conversations with others in Chinese. I can communicate and work with people from different countries and cultural backgrounds."
Besides the Maputo Bridge, over 180-kilometers worth of link roads have also been constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation, linking Mozambique southward to South Africa.
With the Maputo Bridge and the Link Roads in operation for almost half year, the number of real estate deals and business projects is on the rise in the southern part of Mozambique.
The Chinese firm is planning to cooperate with the local municipal government to help establish more modernized development in the country's south.
Experts from both Mozambique and China say they believe the bridge will help Mozambique unleash its economic development potential, generating greater economic development effects.