Government to introduce housing initiative targeted at Zambians in the Diaspora- Luo
Local Government and Housing Minister Professor Nkandu Luo has urged Zambians in the Diaspora to invest back home and help develop the country.
Addressing Zambians resident in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations, Prof Luo said her ministry has come up with a housing initiative targeted at Zambians in the Diaspora.
“As a ministry, we urge you to participate in the construction of low cost housing in Zambia. Our housing stock deficit today stands between 2 million and 3 million, so we need to build at least 200, 000 houses every year all over Zambia, not just Lusaka,” Prof Luo said.
The minister explained that the houses would cost between US$10, 000 (about K51 million) and US$16, 000 (about K81million).
She called for partnership with big foreign investors to build houses and other infrastructure that would enhance national development.
This is according to a press statement made available to Lusakatimes by Chibaula Silwamba First Secretary for Press at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations.
Prof Luo observed that countries like Ghana had economic growth, partly due to its nationals in the Diaspora that were investing back home.
“I am here to present an opportunity to you Zambians in the Diaspora that there is so much going on back home and you can participate,” Prof Luo said.
Henry Sakala – chairperson of the Zambian Family in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – said he and his colleagues were keen to participate in the low-cost housing project and other national development initiatives provided the procedures were clearly laid down and bureaucracy was removed.
Sakala said Zambians in the Diaspora remitted huge sums of money to their homeland every year than any other foreign country had ever given to Zambia.
A Zambian resident in New York Cynthia Chirwa urged the Zambian Government to enact dual citizenship to enable its nationals in the Diaspora to access loans and other facilities for them to re-invest back home.
In response, Prof Luo urged the Zambians abroad to make submissions to the Technical Committee on the constitution making process concern the dual citizenship.
She recalled that dual citizenship was included in the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) draft report.
However, Prof Luo urged the Zambians in Diaspora to invest home without using their demand for dual citizenship as a conditionality.
Prof Luo said President Michael Sata and his Government was working hard to improve the lives of Zambians.
Another resident Webster Munyenyembe said there were many American investors interested to invest in Zambia and called for dissemination of information about the procedures on investment.
Mr Munyenyembe said there was need to curb corruption in Zambia to boost investor confidence.
The Zambians expressed happiness that the Government had banned the consumption of infamous sachet-packed Tujilijili beer, and was addressing street vending, fighting corruption and improving infrastructure. Additionally, they requested the Government to help them acquire land on which they could build their houses and set up their investments in Zambia.