To sustain its economic growth, Zambia needs to upgrade its infrastructure. To this effect, Government’s focus is on construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of physical infrastructure in the following areas: roads and bridges, railways, airports and aerodromes and maritime and inland waterways.
The country recently adopted an “open sky policy” and is currently promoting the establishment of an air cargo hub for the Southern African region. In this regard, the Government has embarked on a program to improve the infrastructure at all the international airports in collaboration with the private sector. This has therefore provided investment opportunities in the following areas:
• Construction of runways, terminals and auxiliary facilities in and around the airports such as hotels, shopping malls, Conference facilities etc.
• Scope for private sector participation in development of airports also exists in the identified airfield in six (6) separate projects in Chipata, Kitwe, Kasama, Mongu, Solwezi and Mansa.
The Government of Zambia embarked on the Link Zambia 8,000 project (Accelerated National Roads Construction Programme) aimed at rehabilitating and constructing the road network linking Zambia to Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. This priority government project envisions building 8000 km of quality single and dual lane roads throughout the country.
The Link Zambia 8000 Project is expected to last at least five – eight years, starting 2013, and is estimated to cost over $5 billion. The government has proposed private sector companies to consider undertaking the construction of key toll roads which will carry the bulk of commercial traffic and could be built and operated on a sustainable revenue model. These priority toll routes comprise the backbone of Zambia’s national road network including:
• Solwezi to Kazungula (with a spur to Kasumbalesa);
• Kapiri Mposhi to Nakonde; and
• Lusaka to Mchinji via Chipata.
The Government intends to expand its railway network in the country to bolster the surface transport sector. The development of rail routes linking important exit points is not only vital for facilitating smooth access to the outside world but also for the overall boosting of trade in the sub-region and making Zambia a competitive country for doing business. Government is seeking private sector participation in the development and rehabilitation of the railway infrastructure. Some of the opportunities include the following:
• Chingola to Jimbe (Border with Angola): The railway line involves linking the existing line in Chingola through Solwezi to the border town of Jimbe in Angola;
• Kafue (Zambia) – Zawi (Zimbabwe) : The railway line will link Zambia Railway line to the Beira Port via Ziwa Zimbabwe as the shortest route to the port of Beira in Mozambique;
• TAZARA Nseluka – Mpulungu port: The railway lines involves linking Mpulungu Port to TAZARA line at Nseluka to facilitate the imports and exports from the Great Lakes region to the sea ports on the Indian Ocean;
• Extension of the Mchinji/Chipata Railway line to TAZARA: The railway line involves linking the Chipata–Mchinji line through Petauke District to the port of Nacala in Mozambique.
• Railway link with Zambia and Namibia (Livingstone –Sesheke): The construction of this line involves the partial rehabilitation of the Mulobezi line and feasibility studies for construction of a spur between Livingstone and Katima Mulilo via Kazungula and connecting to the Nambian Railway System at (Border) as part of the Walvis Bay – Livingstone – Lusaka – Ndola – Lubumbashi Corridor.
iv. Housing and Estate Infrastructure
Zambia has been facing a shortage of housing units, especially in rapidly growing towns and districts of the Copperbelt and North Western provinces where mining activities have resurged. The establishment of a new province and districts has further bolstered an increase in the housing demand in these areas. Government estimates suggests a backlog of 2 million units across the country, and recommends an annual delivery rate of 200 000 units to meet demand in the next 10 years. However, the housing sector in Zambia is largely driven by individual and private sector initiatives. In order to address the current housing deficit, Government has created an enabling environment for the provision affordable, quality and adequate housing to the majority of Zambians.
Opportunities in the housing and estate development sector include:
• Zambia through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is seeking development partners to jointly finance, re-design and re-develop the trade fair grounds into a modern exhibition, entertainment and business center which can be used as Zambia’s main business exhibition and trade center;
• Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the housing development and construction of auxiliary facilities;
• Development of modern cluster –style housing with commercial and social amenities;
• Development of commercial properties including business parks, shopping malls, office blocks etc;
• Development of social infrastructure such as construction and development of schools, health facilities and other public infrastructure services; and
• Development of Multi-Facility Economic Zones and industrial parks.