The Port of Maputo, Mozambique’s largest port and a critical hub for global chrome exports, is set for a significant upgrade to its railway link. This move aims to bolster the port’s capacity expansion plans, valued at a staggering $2 billion.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is stepping in to finance the acquisition of $40 million worth of locomotives and wagons. Additionally, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is considering providing a further $30 million for improvements to the railway line connecting the port to South Africa.

This investment aligns with Mozambique’s ambitious goals. The country’s Transport and Communications Minister, Mateus Magala, has expressed a desire to see at least 60% to 70% of cargo transported by rail. “The current situation needs to be reversed,” he stated in a recent interview. “We expect to see a shift towards rail usage in the coming months, driven by policy changes.”

However, challenges remain. Osório Lucas, CEO of the Maputo Port Development Company, highlighted a key hurdle: the current setup where Mozambique’s rail operations cease at the South African border. “We need South Africa’s cooperation to achieve our goals,” he emphasised.


The upgraded railway link is expected to enhance efficiency and capacity for chrome exports significantly, a vital source of revenue for Mozambique. This move, coupled with the planned expansion, positions the Port of Maputo to solidify further its position as a leading player in the global chrome trade.

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