In its move for economic diversification , government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with Radixus Pty Limited of South Africa for the construction of Itezhi Tezhi International Airport in Itezhi Tezhi district in central province.
According to the MoU, the planned International Airport seen to also boost tourism in the area and the airport will be built on the basis of a public-private partnership (PPP).
The engaged private partner will Finance, Design, Build, Operate,and Transfer (FDBOT) the facility after 25 years.
The proposed site for the airport is on a land approximately 6 kilometres North East of Itezhi Tezhi along the D769 road that links Itezhi Tezhi to Mongu –Lusaka Road.
The project once completed will be a magnet for business locations, commercial transactions, information exchange, and leisure activities.
The airport will become the main gateway into the Kafue National Park and is envisaged to boost the tourism industry in Itezhi Tezhi which has been a tourism sleeping giant.
The MoU was signed today by Central Province Permanent Secretary Daisy Ng’ambi for the Government of Zambia, Eugene Labuschagne (Chief Operating Officer and Noluthando Shweni (Chairperson) for Radixus Pty Limited of South Africa.
Central Province Permanent Secretary said the signing of the Memorandum of understanding signifies the beginning of many developmental activities in Itezhi Tezhi district.
“Government is anxious to take development to all parts of the country to improve the living standards of its people” Ms Ng’ambi said.
She said that the project once developed will improve people’s lives by boosting tourism industry, job creation, and provide efficient transport necessary for business.
“By 2018 Itezhi Tezhi district will be a different place as it will be tremendously transformed, ” she said shortly after the signing ceremony held at Itezhi Tezhi District Commissioner’ office.
And Radixus Pty Limited Chief Operating Officer Eugene Labuschagne said works are expected to commence by June next year once feasibility studies and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) are completed.
He said that the facility will include the aviation – linked urban form, which consists of an airport surrounded by diverse land use.
The project will stimulate economic development and job creation in Itezhi Tezhi district.
Mr. Labuschagne disclosed that his company also aims to build a sizeable modern shopping mall in Itezhi Tezhi.
Itezhi Tezhi District Commissioner Hendrix Kaimana said that he was delighted that such development is coming to the district.
Mr. Kaimana said that infrastructure development will contribute immensely to productivity of the district by facilitating efficient connectivity and easing the movement of goods and the provision of services.
He said the development will increase the revenue base for the local authority.
Meanwhile Chief Kaingu said he was the happiest person to see the development in the district.
He said the district has a lot of unemployed people and the construction of the facility will help in creating jobs and promoting the tourism industry.