Maputo-Catembe bridge to open in June

The new Maputo-Catembe bridge, built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation, is due to open in June. 

The 3km bridge will be Africa’s longest suspension bridge and will link Maputo to Catembe south of the capital. Until now transport over this section of the Umbeluzi river estuary has been by ferry. The bridge is scheduled to open on Mozambique Independence Day on 25 June.

The four-lane bridge is part of a much larger programme of road networks that includes a 120km stretch south to Ponto do Ouro on the border with South Africa and from Vela Vista to Boane to the west of Maputo. The works also include upgrades to five river bridges.

Construction on the suspension bridge started in 2014 and has cost about US $700 million with most of the funding coming from the Export Import Bank of China.

Relations between the two countries are also being consolidated by a new Mozambique-China cultural centre. The foundation stone was laid in mid-May and when the complex is finished it will also include the new school of communications and arts of Mozambique's largest university, Eduardo Mondlane University, plus a delegation of the Confucius Institute, part of the Chinese ministry of education, which promotes the language and culture of China.

China is now Mozambique's biggest financier and supplier of infrastructure and with its long coastline is seen as one of China's most important access routes to the rest of the African continent.