Longest Bridges in Africa And Their Designers

Longest Bridges in Africa And Their Designers
Third Mainland Bridge In Lagos, Nigeria

By Prudence Minayo

Africa’s infrastructural development began way back during the precolonial and colonial period. The turn of the 21st century has seen the continent embark on mega projects funded mostly by the Chinese. African states with rivers and oceans began building bridges to connect the mainland to the islands and vice versa. Some, however, were built mainly to control traffic. Africa is home to a number of uniquely designed bridges, each with a different story. Below are 10 longest Bridges in Africa. 

 hussein elkhayat
6th October Bridge Photo/ Hussein Elkhayat

6th October Bridge

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The construction of the bridge began in 1969 and ended in 1996. The 20.5km bridge crosses the Nile twice and connects the Western part of the city to the international airport, which is located in the Eastern part of Cairo. The bridge was named in honor of a memorable historic event-the day the Ramadan war between Israel and Egypt began. Approximately half a million people in Cairo use it on a daily basis.

Longest Bridges in Africa And Their Designers
Third Mainland Bridge In Lagos, Nigeria

Third Mainland Bridge

The bridge was constructed in the 1980s and spans more than 11km. It is the longest and busiest of the three bridges connecting the mainland to the islands, which form the commercial heart of Lagos city, Nigeria, where some of the wealthy neighborhoods are located. It was the longest bridge in Africa until the 6th October was opened in 1996. On 6th July 2020, it was announced the Third Mainland Bridge would be closed down for six months due to repairs. It was officially re-opened towards the end of February 2021.

It was designed by Julius Berger. 

Also Read: Tallest Buildings in Nairobi And The Architects Who Designed Them 

Longest Bridges in Africa And Their Designers
Suez Canal Bridge Image/wikimedia.org

Suez Canal bridge 

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Also known as the Egyptian-Japanese friendly bridge, Al Salam Bridge or Mubarak Peace bridge, this is a road bridge crossing the Suez Canal at El-Qantara. The bridge links the continents of Africa and Asia . It was built with assistance from the Japanese government with the main contractor and designer being Kajima corporation. The bridge is 3.9km long. 

It was designed by Arab consulting engineers Fritsch-Chiari and partner ZT GmbH.  

Longest Bridges in Africa And Their Designers
Mozambique Island Bridge Image/wikimedia.org

Island Bridge, Mozambique 

It connects the island of Mozambique to the Mainland through the Indian Ocean. The bridge is 3,390m long. The one lane bridge was built in 1967 and is one of the most spectacular bridges in the world. 

The government of Mozambique launched a tender for the construction of the bridge in 1962. It is maintained by the National Road Administration. 


Dona Ana Bridge, Mozambique

The Dona Ana Bridge was originally constructed as a railway bridge to link Malawi and the Moatize coal fields to port of Beira. At one time, it was the longest railway bridge in Africa. The 3.67km long bridge spans the lower Zambezi River between the towns of Vila de Sena and Mutarara, effectively linking the two halves of the country. 

It was rendered unusable in the 1980s, during the Mozambican civil war, but USAID assisted  with the repairs and it was converted to a single lane bridge for vehicle traffic. 

The designer was Edgar Cardoso. 

Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge, Mozambique Image/Wikipedia

Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge, Mozambique

It crosses the Zambezi River and connects the province of Sofala and Zambezi. It is named after a former president of Mozambique. The construction cost was €66 million. Construction of the bridge began in December 2005 and it was inaugurated on 1st August 2009. It was constructed by Mota-Engil Soares da Costa.

Qasr El Nile Bridge
Image/Wikimedia.com / Ayman Muhammad El-Shahat

Qasr El-Nile Bridge 

This is a bridge that spans the River Nile connecting Tahrir square to the Cairo opera complex. Built in 1931, it replaced the first bridge to span the Nile River in central Cairo, Egypt. The previous bridge on the site was El Gezira built between 1869 and 1871. The bridge is popular for evening strolls and offers views of the rivers, landmark buildings, hotels and other structures on the island and along the Nile corniche on the west bank. It is popular as a location for young Egyptian friends and couples to have an inexpensive outdoor date. At the bridge’s East and West approaches are four famous large bronze iron statues, they are late 29th century works by Henry Alfred Jacquemart. The bridge is 1,932m long.

It was designed by Ralph Anthony Freeman. 

Likoni Floating Bridge Image/People Daily

Likoni Floating Bridge 

The 1.2km floating bridge serves as a gateway to Mombasa port. Before the construction, ferries were the only way of transporting people and vehicles across the channel but its viability became limited due to the increasing population. The $17 million bridge was built by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC). Although it can last up to fifty years, it will be used temporarily and dismantled once the Mombasa Gate Bridge project is completed, it is currently at the design stage. Likoni bridge was opened on 10th December 2020. 

Also Read: 20 Tallest Buildings in Africa In 2021

Wouri Rivers, Cameroon

The one kilometer bridge became the longest in the Central Africa sub region. It was constructed by French colonial masters to carry 2,000 vehicles per day. Today, the bridge carries more than 45,000 vehicles per day.

Mkapa Bridge, Tanzania Image/Skyscrapercity.com

Mkapa Bridge, Tanzania

It is the longest bridge in Tanzania across the Rufiji River and is named after the third president of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa. At its inauguration in 2003, it was amongst the longest road bridges in East and Southern Africa measuring 970 meters. It was finances through a 30 million US Dollars loan from Kuwait Fund, OPEC and the government if Saudi Arabia. 

The designer was H. P. Gauff Ingenieure GmbH and Co (Germany) with construction carried out by Impresa Ing. Fortunato Federici S. p. A. (Italy). 

Katima, Mulilo Bridge, Namibia Image/FacebookBarotseland Broadcasting Network

Katima, Mulilo Bridge, Namibia

Also known as Bridge 508, it carries the TransCaprivi highway over the Zambezi river. The 900m long road bridge was constructed using German technique  of incremental launching. It was opened on 13th May 2004 by both the president of Zambia and Namibia. It was constructed by Concor Hochtief.

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