The Zambezi Seaway Corporation
Zambezi Seaway phase one


It was the economic slump in the Region combined with the First World
recession that prompted the writer to pursue this worthy regional project which would turn around regional economies.
It would have the
added effect of providing the First World with less expensive inputs to Industry and Commerce greatly assisting their economies.

Rationale for a Seaway from Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Region to the

1. There are many minerals which have become uneconomical to
export such as Chrome (Equipped mines and the processing plants lie idle all over Zimbabwe), Iron ore, Coal etc. due to the excessive cost of transport and fuel. (Transport to the coast often costs more than the sea freight to the First World) Export revenue could be doubled.

2. With the first World recession there is likely to be a mining
slump at the Copper Belt in Zambia. A seaway would cut the cost of copper dramatically rejuvenating production and earnings to the benefit of Zambia and the First World.

3. If it were feasible to construct the St Lawrence Seaway to the
Great Lakes of Canada and the USA circumventing the Niagara Falls for essentially, the transportation of grain and timber then, all the rich mineral deposits in Central Africa make a seaway, essential to Zimbabwe and the Region. Most First World countries have waterways to the sea because it was economically viable to do so and instrumental in their development. One has only to look at the Industry and Cities that have sprung up due to the St Lawrence Seaway. China has now prioritised such projects spending 22 billion dollars on one seaway project alone in the

best interests of export earnings and development.

4. Zimbabwe and the Region need meaningful investment. This
project is labour intensive thus, the vast majority of investment in

foreign exchange would be spent locally, a kind of invisible export. With the support of the Regional Governments the project could commence immediately attracting the necessary funding through the sale of shares

providing, much needed foreign exchange revenue in the market place. It is estimated initially that approximately ten billion US dollars would be required from external investors, donors and international public participation.

5. It would be unnecessary, and counterproductive for the region
to engage in lengthy and costly feasibility studies in that, waterways have been built before in the most extreme circumstances and a feasibility study has already been completed. Surveys would be conducted as the project commences and is underway. Fast tracked by Government it could be instant revenue positively promoting Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and the region to potential investors in all


6. Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia signed a memorandum of
understanding on the construction of a seaway up the Shire river, a tributary of the Zambezi river, to Lake Malawi in 2007, The importance of this canal/ seaway was mainly tourism. The Zambezi Seaway is essential to investment and transportation of raw materials serving many landlocked countries including Zimbabwe.This project is underway with a port being established in Malawi, there were some delays due to misunderstanding in part, eg to agree on a route obviously along the river and dependent on dredging, then environmental impact - currently the Zambezi basin is prone to flooding destroying acres of foliage and wildlife, dredging the river will never be undertaken for environmental purposes, Conversely, under the heading of environmental improvement acres are flooded by hydroelectric power stations and dams, presumably, it gives environmentalists less work once areas are flooded.
ADB has allocated 6 billion to the Shire project. 10 billion to provide a port in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi would seem a better regional proposition - advantages are that environmental studies will already be completed..

7. The investment and demand for goods/ materials being purchased
in foreign exchange would kick-start commerce and industry into serious production. There is a need for large investment to reverse the current

economic regional inflation.

8. Without a low cost efficient transportation system, a sea
route, and a surplus of energy there may be no, sustainable, regional development and growth. 

9. It would be an Regional International image building exercise.
How many members of the International public would not be fascinated by the concept and tempted to buy shares in an historic project that joins Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, to the Indian Ocean?

Imagine the positive impact to tourism and revenue as the
project gets underway!

The red dotted line represents phase one and illustrates possible harbours servicing Zambia and Zimbabwe 

Phase One: Cabora Bassa to the Ocean.

Expertise could be drawn from various engineering organisations. There is a situation in Europe where engineering professionals take early retirement and join organisations which supply expertise in return for out of pocket expenses such as air travel, local food and accommodation. It is anticipated that many engineers would volunteer to be part of such a worthwhile and high profile project. Local labour and expertise is readily available.Materials such as cement, hardwoods etc are available locally. Some basic equipment would need to be purchased on a one off basis.

Necessary funds being in place the project could be underway commencing on the section between Tete and Cabora Bassa. True, the route would need surveying by experts and this would be a sort of preliminary expense covered either by grant or investment. It is envisaged that only a mere 50 km section of the 800 km route would need attention the Zambezi being already navigable, subject to dredging, past Tete.It is anticipated that dredging would occur in some sections and others would require locks and canal sections to circumvent rapids. Dependent on the vertical lift necessary to circumvent the Cabora Bassa dam wall, a ship lift could be utilised similar to those depicted in the attached annexure.

The writer has already part designed and patented a way of barge/ ship movement. This would involve a buoyed channel to the ocean with a wire rope attached to either side of the channel and would operate rather like a ski lift. The weight of barges filled with tonnes of heavy ore on the trip to the ocean could tow the empty barges upstream. Advantages would be ease of navigating the Zambezi and conservation of fuel. Every effort should be made to be environmentally friendly. A similar system could be used in ports eliminating the use of pilots and lengthy delays in bad weather. The route and scope of the seaway project lends itself to much appropriate technology and design, reducing costs.

Effort would be made to move away from sophisticated, expensive and often unreliable equipment in remote positions in favour of engineering designs that have survived the passage of time for the last century.

For example, there are boat lifts that operate on a system of weights and displacement that are mechanical and needing little or no electrical power that, fall into that category. Again, on-site decisions would be made as to whether to opt for readily available Mozambique hardwood based locks thus employing more local labour or steel.

It is anticipated that a ship could be purchased, the writer has already identified same, built to class A hull specifications, utilised previously for research projects in the Artic Circle. Its strong hull perfect for river use, would provide, on site accommodation, office space equipped with a helicopter landing pad. Simple conversions could extend its use to dredging to deepen the proposed seaway as it travels the route.

Time scale would be closely tied to funding. The more funding available the more sections that could be undertaken simultaneously and greater numbers employed. The initial width and depth of the seaway would again be a financial consideration, whether to opt for the minimum to suit large sea going barges, small cargo vessels or large cargo vessels. 
This phase would provide an 800 km seaway to the coast and open up Northern Zimbabwe.

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