Minister of Transport and Communications Hon. Brian Mushimba makes the first call to launch the second phase of the Universal Access Programme, paving the way for every citizen in the country to have access to a mobile phone signal.
Minister of Transport and Communications Hon. Brian Mushimba makes the first call to launch the second phase of the Universal Access Programme, paving the way for every citizen in the country to have access to a mobile phone signal.

Minister of Transport and Communications Hon. Brian Mushimba has made the symbolic first call to launch the second phase of the Communication Towers Project, paving the way for every citizen in the country to have access to a mobile phone signal.
Leading global information communications technology (ICT) solutions provider Huawei Technologies Zambia will build telecommunication towers in remote areas across the country under the project, which will see Zambia leapfrog its neighbours in terms of mobile phone coverage.
The Minister of Transport and Communications was joined representatives of the Barotse Royal Establishment, ZICTA representatives and other dignitaries at Nanjucha in Western Province to launch the Phase II of the Communication Towers Project.
“The Patriotic Front Government under the able leadership of H.E. the President Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu is committed to ensuring that the Government takes the lead in embracing innovative ICTs for efficient, effective and transparent service delivery to the people of Zambia,” said Mr Mushimba.
“The launch of the communication tower in Nalolo District signifies government’s commitment and resolve to promoting access to and use of information communications technologies by all citizens regardless of their geographical location,” he added.
Under Phase II of the project, Huawei Technologies will connect rural communities to a mobile phone network through the building of 808 communication towers that will help to promote economic prosperity, cultural development and quality of life in outlying regions.
“This project will improve communication and help stimulate economic activities in these rural areas. I must mention that without the support from other stakeholders, this would not have been possible for us. We have been working closely with the Zambian government and we want to thank the government for providing support, guidance and the right policies under which we have been operating as a company,” said Huawei Technologies Zambia country director Emilion Ming.
Huawei is the world’s largest telecommunication and Information Communication Technologies (ICT) solutions provider, serving 45 of world’s top 50 telecom operators. Its products and solutions are benefiting one third of the world’s population.
“This project’s aim is to bring total connectivity to Zambia, and it further demonstrates our efforts as a responsible company committed to integrating local people into the global community. This initiative will contribute a lot to helping improve lives in rural areas,” said Mr Ming.
The towers will be operated by Zamtel and are designed to be scaled up to meet future needs, accompanied by guaranteed quality. Huawei has also made sure the project is economically and financially viable in order to provide a long-term sustainable solution to removing the digital divide. The system will also strengthen Zamtel’s delivery capability and enable the government to communicate more efficiently with all its citizens, while keeping pace with market demand for data and calls.
Zambia’s rapid growth has meant that communications services have not always kept pace, and growth in mobile phone coverage has been lagging behind many other countries in the region. The current project is expected to enable Zambia to leapfrog that gap.
With the joint effort of more than 170,000 employees in more than 170 countries, Huawei is ranked 129th of the Fortune 500 companies. It has 16 R&D centres, 36 joint innovation centres and 45 training centres worldwide, creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers by providing competitive solutions and services.
Huawei Technologies, in collaboration with Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), launched phase I of the communication network coverage project in 2014 with an aim of installing 204 telecom towers in rural areas across the country’s ten provinces.
“Huawei Technologies Zambia has been working with the Zambian government on the communication tower project which has brought 200,000 people from Zambian rural areas to the connected world,” added Mr Ming.
The launch coincided with the start of Huawei’s flagship corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, Seeds for the Future, under which ten Zambian students are travelling to China for a two-week training programme at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, where they will learn about the latest technology advances.

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14 COMMENTS

    • While phone access is important, PF should be worried that airtime is too expensive and people are spending scarce resources on calls. Ditto for Internet. Internet charges and airtime costs should dramatically come down in Zambia if the population are going to really enjoy this modern infrastructure. I understand that in Tanzania Internet costs a quarter of the cost in Zambia. Why the disparity? Don’t say that Zambia is landlocked. Government does not protect Zambian consumers.

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  1. No open tender it was a given that it will go to the Chinese since the financing came from the Exim bank of China …. the issue is that we Miss out on better developed Technology from the likes of Nokia and Ericsson whenever we don’t put these to open tender … these companies are also looking for big projects and the government can still negotiate good deals.

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    • But in the end, we end up paying this loan for substandard Chinese products at Nokia or Seimens, Samsung etc prices….all for the love of begging by our politicans.

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    • This is security sensitive. You do not put such things to open tender, otherwise the banyamulenge will win.

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    • @THE SAINT – What security? Look at Zamtel…you have outsourced the whole technical side to the Chinese, they have the highest security clearance there.

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  2. Credit should be given where it is due,how do you asses the work which is still in progress to be substandard, which standard are you benchmarking with? So CellZ is the Cheapest in the country, we are enjoying cheap voice calls,data Bundles, SMS,across network calls and inner,what more.Zambia we are lagging behind interns of technology, we are behind by 52years we need to swiftly catch up with the rest of the world.Whatever the awarding process,open tender or single sourcing it is allowed in some cases to single source.Nothing wrong.It is not always the case to give a competitive contract awarding process,If it is believed that the capabilities are not readily available and it would be costly to go open tenders,then closed rendering process is followed.Kudo for this project.we want…

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    • Since mobile comms are only about 30 years old, I fail to see where 52 years come from. Access is important but cost is even more important. Both tendering of projects and driving down airtime costs will ensure more Zambians use the latest technology.

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    • @Betson Kampukesa – you forgot about the controversy that surrounded Phase One of this project with wrong specifications…anyway this is how the EUROBOND disappeared and you have nothing to show for $120m to ZRL disappeared in substandard works and proxy companies. This is how you nearly emptied the whole of Kariba Dam by installing substandard cheap Chinese turbines and paying for the price later in 24/7 load-shedding and imported electricity.

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  3. Each tower is equivalent to a tower like FINDECO, see that! FINDECO HOUSE in lusaka makes money through rental charges, which means even these metal towers will be making money through rental charges, this time its through NUMBERS in the air! What a shrewd move by Huawei, the money will not only be made through mobile company operates, even radio and tv stations, security communication companies etc.
    This is a game of Numbers in the Air and when you start playing it in the Air, no Numbers game in the Land(like FINDECO house) can equal or surpass you! Congrats Huwaei, otherwise this should have been given to local businesses!

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  4. I agree with Jay Jay on alot but we are also selling electricity to Zim. All for what? Political favours that us the average Zambian does not benefit from. Sad, insulating and disgraceful to all of use. Fix what needs fixing first before venturing into luxuries that don’t make sense to the average person/Zambian.

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