ZAMBIA and China Development Bank (CDB) has signed a loan agreement of US$418 million to finance the rehabilitation of roads on the Copperbelt under the C400 project.
The deal was signed here on the side lines of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which closed yesterday in Sandton City.
The whole project would cost US$492 million with CDB financing US$418 million while Zambia would foot the 15 per cent difference.
China Henan has been contracted to do the roads works which are expected to start in the first quarter of 2016 and completed two and half years.
The project would be undertaken in all districts including Kalulushi, Chambishi, Kitwe, Chingola, Mufulira, Ndola, Luanshya and Chililabombwe
Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda, who signed on behalf of Zambia, said the agreement said the Government valued the cooperation that existed between the two countries.
He said the modernisation of the roads on the Copperbelt was important because it the economic and political nerve center of the country despite the life span of most mining companies is nearing.
“Modernisation of the roads is one of the aspects of the Patriotic Front form of the development agenda,” Mr Chikwanda said.
Mr Chikwanda, who outlined the contribution of copper and other minierals to the economy, said the rehabilitation of the road network would reduce the cost of doing business and benefit the economy.
He said the project would also create more jobs for the youths during the construction phase and after.
The Finance minister, who appreciated CDB capital structure, said the Government would not hesitate to sign more finance agreements under well loan structured arrangements.
CDB Chairperson Hu Huaibang said China was keen to support Zambia and other countries to ensure they became self-sufficient in social and economic development.
He said the loan agreement was the bank’s top priority services to help African countries.
“This agreement would open more new areas of cooperation,” Mr Hu said