President Lungu targets Transport Sector for GDP growth, Job Creation and Poverty reduction

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Caption: Presidential spokesman Amos Chanda flanked by Zambia’s Charge d’ Affaires in Sweden Anthony Mukwita, Bombardier head of rail Christian Bengtsson and head of bids Johan Oldhoff at State House. Picture by Salim Henry. State House.
Caption: Presidential spokesman Amos Chanda flanked by Zambia’s Charge d’ Affaires in Sweden Anthony Mukwita, Bombardier head of rail Christian Bengtsson and head of bids Johan Oldhoff at State House. Picture by Salim Henry. State House.

President Edgar Lungu wants to create more jobs and slash poverty levels through a deliberate creation of an efficient communication network that reduces the cost of doing regional business especially in the railway sector said Mr Amos Chanda, the Presidential Spokesman.

Mr Chanda was speaking when he met in his office, a delegation of influential business from Sweden targeting the railway sector for fresh investment that could open Zambia to ‘new’ western money markets and broaden its business reach in the sub-region as a key ‘land-linked’ country player.

Zambia’s Charge d’ Affaires to Sweden Mr Anthony Mukwita who brought a high-powered delegation of TEAM SWEDEN for a series of consultative meetings in Lusaka with Finance Minister hon. Felix Mutati last week, among others, revealed this in an interview after a scheduled meeting in Mr Chanda in his office.

“President Lungu strongly feels that improving the communication sector (transport, airline etc) as much as possible would in the long run boost Zambia’s economic growth, create jobs and reduce poverty,” said Mr Chanda.

The presidential spokesman said President Lungu would henceforth ensure business interest groups from as diverse backgrounds—such as Sweden—as possible get involved in achieving his greater poverty reduction and job creation aspiration as possible.

Mr Chanda said President Lungu is fully aware of TEAM SWEDEN plans to ‘actively’ participate in the development of the railway network in Zambia that increases Zambia’s ‘inter-linkedness’ in the region as a crucial member of SADC and COMESA.

“He (President Lungu) is aware of the need to allow companies such as Bombardier from Sweden and others from Asia to achieve a greater goal of efficient transport communication,” said Mr Chanda.

Mr Chanda said, “the President is fully cognisant of the fact that the countries that have improved the most in history globally have done so riding on an efficient and cost-effective transport network.”

TEAM SWEDEN, supported by the embassy of Sweden in Zambia was represented at the State House meeting by Mr Christian Bengtsson, Bombardier Head of Swedish Rail Export Programme and Mr Johan Oldhoff, Head of Bombardier Bids.

Charge d’ Affaires Mukwita represented the Zambian embassy in Stockholm.

Prior to the meeting with Mr Chanda at State House, TEAM SWEDEN had progressive discussions with the Minister of Finance hon. Felix Mutati and Permanent Secretary Mukuba Chikuli according to the diplomat.

Mr Mukwita described discussions with Minister Mutati and TEAM SWEDEN as “optimistic and progressive” for Zambia’s railway sector and, “hon. Mutati’s desire to diversify financing even more heart-warming.”

The Zambian diplomat said because Bombardier is the ‘world’s number one railway company’ means less worries for Zambia as business discussions progress.

“Their tested global record of executing crucial jobs at reduced costs but achieving world class results is one thing that makes their proposal attractive for railway job engagement in Zambia.”

He said the Bombardier team now awaits advice from Finance Minister Felix Mutati on ‘a progressive way forward’ for the finance package.

The decision would have to be made on whether Zambia continues or discontinues discussions with the world’s number one railway company.

“The great thing in my view of opening up a business line with Sweden is that as a leader in the Scandinavian world,” said Mr Mukwita, “when you are in bed with Sweden you open doors for greater and diversified business with Norway, Denmark, Finland etc and many more in that part of the world.”

Mr Mukwita adds that, “their AAA corporate governance records (Scandinavian countries ratings) simply helps Zambia globally hurts it in no way.”

Mr Mukwita said Minister Mutati had shown a greater commitment to diversify infrastructure development financing to safe guard Zambia from any danger of an economic bubble burst in one region of the economy.

The Zambian diplomat said as the nation pushes its economic development agenda, engaging the Swedish company for the railway assignment could mean greater job creation, poverty reduction and an increased economic activity in the transport sector.

“That is what we know President Lungu wants,” Mr Mukwita said, “a vibrant job market and an efficiently linked Zambia that plays a leading economic role in both SADC and COMESA while benefitting the local community.”

The Presidents spokesman Mr Chanda assured TEAM SWEDEN that President Lungu would hear of all concerns they have as the continue to discuss participation in Zambia’s railway sector.

Mr Chanda said President Lungu is determined to ensure as many few trucks used the roads to also cut down on loss of lives as possible by diverting traffic onto the railway lines.

Mr Mukwita and his delegation have since returned to Sweden awaiting progress from the Zambian side.

Others that attended meetings with Hon. Mutati and PS Mukuli include: Swedish Embassy deputy head of mission Karin Sveken, Trade and Communication Officer Anna Dloski, Ruth Phiri from Business Sweden, Johan Oldhoff and Christian Bengtsson both from Bombardier.

Mr Mukwita described the talks as fruitful adding, “the ball is now in the court of hon Mutati and his Permanent Secretary Mr Chikuba Mukuli.”

34 COMMENTS

    • +2
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      Wrong approach to GDP and unemployment reduction. The best approach is through practical education that leads to productivity. Tailor education into relevant regional strengths and then guide economic activities through fiscal plans to channel investment into those regional opportunities where labor is carefuly trained. Zambia is not a single dimension economy; Zambia has great potential variedly placed by God for us to tap, but for our sin ravaged leadership, we can’t see it. No vision mentality is tolerated. Wake up friends!

    • +7
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      President Lungu’s Development passion for communication and network infrastructure, brings to mind the unbeatable legacy of Post World War 2 US President Gen. Dwight Eisenhower that led US infrastructure revolution of Federal Highways, bridges and such. That was the spike into modern USA development. Just be deligent on project valuation if involving public financing. Current projects costing are tickets for irredeemable debt crisis and criminal prosecution some day.

    • +3
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      -Team Sweden
      – High power delegation
      – state of art transportation
      – Almighty Edgar
      Kissing asses!
      Lord have mercy…..

    • vote

      Kikikiki..Bombardier is Canadian. So Anthony manages to bring a regional officer of bombardier based in Sweden and calls it high-powered delegation from Bombadier? ???. Anyways we are tired of hearing “plans” please let’s see implementation. It’s already one-year after the elections….

    • +2
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      Kikikiki..Bombardier is Canadian. So Anthony manages to bring a regional officer of bombardier based in Sweden and calls it high-powered delegation from Bombadier? ???. Anyways we are tired of hearing “plans” please let’s see implementation. It’s already one-year after the elections….

    • +1
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      Mushota,

      stop your “census-taking”. It simply is intended to bolster the number of hits your outpourings get over the year.
      Clever, but it has nothing to do with a genuine “opinion poll”!

  1. +3
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    Who ever wrote this story better do their research a bit better, The Swedish govt is just supplying the seed money for the project. The company Bombardier is not Swedish its CANADIAN and based in Montreal and consults and builds trains,railways, planes, seadoo’s , skidoos and ATV Quads . google them.

  2. +5
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    If unemployment , poverty, are reduced where will the chance of other people who wants to be president going to come from. Zambians will only change govt if they get fade up with pf just like we got fade up with mmd. It’s not about leadership change but regime change. If other stooges who still believes they stand a chance in 2021 they critically need to reflect on the political history climate of Zambia. Zambians don’t vote for great and boastful people but the meek.

    • +5
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      We are fed up of PF already, with your PF incompetence, corruption, huge national debt, unemployment and Poverty are not going anywhere soon.
      I hope you don’t believe your lies, save your money now because you wont be having that embassy job forever.

  3. +6
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    The Swedes are more sincere than those Chinese you are so fond of, I know the Swedes wont pay bribes and that wont go well with Jonathan! That being said these consultations are not going anywhere without bribe money from the Swedes.

  4. +1
    -4
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    The government is working while Kaponya (HH) and others in UPND are hanging on to stale court cases. 2021 Hadolf Hitler (HH) will cry Petition again. The difference between mature politics and Under5 cry babies is easy to see.

    • +3
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      What is the government doing? Still making plans for development? When will they start implementing, after 100 years …kikikiki

  5. +4
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    Senior Citizen, you are right! When his term comes to the end and of course with the reelection, Lungu will have become one of the greatest presidents this country has ever had! The development agenda he has shows him as a visionary leader! When we criticize UPND’s tribalistic obsession meant to destroy this great nation, the Namwala Constituency thinks we hate them! No! Look at the Nose demon, above, for example! He is not, like his kin, ready to accept that the government has been doing a great job! Why? The Namwala agenda! Do you know what that is?

    • +4
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      When will he start implementing his visionary agenda? If it’s still on paper it’s as good as nothing. Just enjoy America, your family back home is seriously suffering…..

    • +1
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      With all borrowed money ka. ..?

      Even my grade 12 son can commission the projects lungu has with borrowed money…….

  6. +2
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    If the railway system is revamped, where will GBM take his more than 200 trucks? Trouble is that GBM is not the only one with an enormous fleet of trucks. There are many more, even in leadership. Iliko tricky.

    • +4
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      You did not support your own son Chirwa with this project, now you are trusting foreigners to do it for you? Seriously Zambians you are “iiidiioottss..

  7. +1
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    If you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you always got. In other words when you cry poverty day in and day out, you shall forever remain in poverty. You need to do something different to get out of that situation and most importantly do not expect others to do it for you because they have their own lives to care for first of all. Some people are worried over Lungu’s riches instead of searching for ways to improve theirs. I did not expect a DOCTOR like KC to sink that low to be discussing Lungu’s achievements so negatively and for that matter in the papers.

  8. +1
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    Mukwita,

    You better tell lungu to behave in a democratic manner going forward or we will be renewing our petitions to the scandnevian countries and companies where dictators are hated,

    FYI bombardier was petitioned and we received a favrable response.
    The embassy in Sweden has been trying for a long time for investment visits to Zambia and only the release of HH fascilitated this……..if you don’t think so, wait and see if lungu misbehaves again.

    If lungu tries his dictator moves we shall be spamming them all over again.

    • vote

      All in all congratulations to the embassy in Sweden.. …only in a vibrant democracy can we aim for the top……

    • 0
      -1
      vote

      More kickbacks in transport…they are all afraid of the hardwork involved in Agriculture…only show up at harvest time to rob poor farmers!!

  9. +1
    -1
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    This sly Lungu bootlicking chap Anthony ..i wonder why any reputable would want to associate with him and the other thief in RSA. I wonder what happened to his cheap internet provider investor.

  10. vote

    So embarrassing to hear a high powered Zambian embassy officer publicly tell that Bombardier is a Swedish company to start with. ..For God’s sake…What the heck is wrong with Zambian officials? Will it ever, I mean ever, evolve?

  11. +1
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    Why is the presidential spokesman greeting and meeting influential high powered businessmen from a potential investor nation. We have not followed protocol. It should be at the least a Minister. We have just insulted the investors . Amos Chanda is not part of Government

  12. +1
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    vote

    After pocketing Euro bonds meant to revamp ZRL now they are looking for European Investors.

    Ninshi our president doesn’t have a job description, he wants to be in every transaction involving procurement. Strange….

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