The African Development Bank has approved loans worth a total $181m for construction of the first phase of the Nacala Road Corridor in southeast Africa to connect Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.

The corridor has been designed to provide an improved road transport link to the port of Nacala from Malawi, Zambia and the interior of Mozambique.

It also focuses on improving transportation services to markets and social services, contributing to poverty reduction.

Out of the total grant, $159m will be used in Mozambique while $22.1m has been designated for Malawi.

The 1033km corridor project involves road works and a one-stop border post between Mozambique and Malawi, and another between Malawi and Zambia.

The $303.32m first phase will focus on the road works in Mozambique and Malawi while the second phase will concentrate on Zambia. The third phase will be the construction of the two one-stop border posts.

The project is a priority of the Southern Africa Development Community region and removes barriers to the movement of people and goods.

The project will improve transport services, reduce travel time, transport costs, turnaround time for international cargo and also protect the pavements from premature damage.

The Mozambican component of the project will be funded by the Japanese international cooperation agency and Eximbank of Korea.