Representatives of Zambia’s Public-Private Partnership Unit (PPP) returned at the weekend from a visit to the United Kingdom where they presented project opportunities valued at more than USD 22 billion to prospective investors. Among the opportunities they presented was the Batoka hydro power project, the Jubilee City concept, of a state-of-the-art and iconic business and commercial metropolis in the heart of Lusaka, and the 202km Livingstone-Kazungula-Sesheke railway line linking Zambia to the Namibian Port of Walvis Bay.
Addressing the Financing African Infrastructure conference last week in London, Ms. Christah Kalulu, Permanent Secretary at State House responsible for oversight of the PPP Unit, told delegates that infrastructure development is a key pillar of Zambia’s 7th National Development Plan.
“Our motives are clear. More and better roads, railways, energy, water, sanitation and housing will improve productivity in our economy, create jobs and lift Zambians out of poverty.’’
She went on to say, ‘’the priority that President Lungu attaches to working with the private sector to improve Zambia’s infrastructure and grow Zambia’s economy is evidenced by his decision to locate our national PPP Unit in State House.’’
Ms Kalulu told delegates that ‘’structuring PPPs can be complex, but I am encouraged by the interest you have shown in investing in Zambia and the portfolio of projects that we are bringing to the market. We stand ready to work with you to make these projects bankable, so that you can derive sustainable returns and Zambian citizens can benefit from your investments.”
While in London Ms. Kalulu and Mr. Keeta Shisholeka, Acting Director of the national PPP Unit, participated in a series of roundtable meetings at which they presented projects to pre-qualified financiers and project developers, and outlined the nation’s legal and regulatory framework and procurement practices.
Ms. Kalulu and Mr. Shisholeka also held bilateral meetings with officials from the UK’s Department for International Development and International Trade, as well the UK’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority, the agency responsible for designing and delivering PPP projects in the UK.
They also participated in a dialogue hosted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on the theme ‘’Boosting Trade and Investment in sub-Saharan Africa,’’ which was held at the FCO’s rural retreat at Wilton Park in Sussex, England. Representatives from the governments of Ghana, Ethiopia, South Africa and Uganda were also present.
Commenting on the visit, Keeta Shisholeka added, “Our national PPP Unit is constantly seeking to drive innovation, create scale and maximise the development benefit of projects for Zambians. Our exchanges in London have opened new avenues and new opportunities for us to deliver on our mandate to improve Zambia’s infrastructure. I am enthused by the degree of interest we have witnessed in our nation and our economy.”
Zambia is rated the fifth most attractive African nation for investors in the 2017 Quantum Africa Investment Index.