The Unity Bridge, and regional integration, go 4th


Unity Bridge during construction

It sounds, and looks (although not in this particular picture) wonderful. The 720 metre Unity Bridge, opened last week, spans the border between Mozambique and Tanzania, crossing the Ravuma River. It’s been in the works for more than 20 years, and its opening by both Presidents Guebeza and Kikwete should herald a new era in cross-border trade between the two countries. It’s what African unity and integration should be about.

Only one problem. No one remembered to open customs and immigration facilities on either side of the border. Also, no one built vehicle-worthy roads leading to the bridge on either side of the border. So, if you happen to have a sturdy Land Rover to get there, and don’t mind illegally entering and exiting countries, the Unity Bridge is for you. If, however, you were a trader with great expectations of what opportunities the Unity Bridge could bring for you, you’ve still got a while to wait.

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