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Major rail project in DRC MetroKin gets financial impetus

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Faced with rapid population growth and inadequate development, DRC is grappling with critical transport infrastructure challenges especially in the capital Kinshasha.

The current transportation system meets less than half of the daily demand, according to the city’s urban transport master plan.

Now, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), together with Alstom, a pioneer in sustainable mobility, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to propel the development of the MetroKin rail project in Kinshasa.

This significant partnership was announced alongside the recent state visit of His Excellency Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to France.

Mass transit system

The partnership builds on AFC’s prior agreement with Trans Connexion Congo (TCC) to develop a mass transit system that extends over 300km of railroad in Kinshasa, the most populous city in Africa. The project will unfold in four phases, starting with the overhaul of a 25km stretch from Kinshasa’s central station to N’Djili International Airport, completely upgrading the existing railway.

AFC has committed an initial investment of US$3 million to advance the project development phase, leading to financial closure. As the Mandated Lead Arranger, AFC is spearheading this transformative urban project.

Alstom’s involvement as a strategic industrial partner supports the broader goal of enhancing urban mobility across Africa.

Drawing from its experience in South Africa’s urban train systems and regional projects like Dakar’s express train and Abidjan’s first metro line, Alstom is set to significantly contribute to Kinshasa’s transit overhaul.

The MetroKin rail project aims to expand and modernize the existing rail network, improving connectivity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and significantly cutting transportation times between the suburbs and city center.

Amadou Wadda, Senior Director of Project Development & Technical Solutions at AFC, said:

“We are pleased to welcome a global institution of high repute like Alstom to the project. Their expertise will be crucial as we push forward with this project, which promises to reshape Kinshasa’s economic landscape, create numerous jobs, and transform lives.”

Erick Onepunga Yongo, Managing Director of MetroKin said: “Under the lead of AFC, with the support of Alstom and the Congolese government, the materialisation of this project becomes effective through the project company MetroKin.SA”.

Bernard Peille, Managing Director at Alstom for Africa stated: “Through our enhanced presence in the region, Alstom is committed to partnering with MetroKin to support the development of an effective mass urban transit solution for Kinshasa.

We aim to contribute to the city’s development ambitions by leveraging our global expertise and supporting its citizens in their mobility needs.

The project has reached significant milestones, with Alstom joining at a crucial time when detailed technical designs are being finalized.

The combined strengths and shared vision of AFC, Metrokin, and Alstom are set to ensure the successful completion of the development phase by the end of 2024.

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