A renowned American billionaire has shown interest in setting up a world class private wildlife estate or game ranch around the Kafue National Park.
Paul Jones confirmed his investment pledge when he met with President Edgar Lungu on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last evening.
Mr. Jones informed President Lungu that he has done a detailed investment plan for the wildlife project in Zambia although the Department of National Parks and Wildlife has not yet cleared his proposal.
He said he has proposed to government for an equity partnership in the running of the game ranch to facilitate a win-win situation for both parties.
Mr. Jones has since appealed to President Lungu to intervene in the prolonged delay by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife to grant him the game ranching licence.
The American investor further said he has similar ranching ventures in other African countries such as South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe and hopes to do the same in Zambia.
Mr. Jones, who is chairman of Tudor Investment Corporation, disclosed that he plans to re-stock white rhinos in the Game Ranch and Kafue National Park once granted the wildlife licence.
And in responding to Mr. Jones’ investment pledge, President Lungu assured the American investor that he will direct Tourism Minister Ronald Chitotela to urgently look into the matter.
The President however said he will not interfere in the operations of the State institutions regarding delays in the issuance of the game ranching licence to Mr Jones but instead allow the due process of law to be followed.
He advised the American investor to immediately engage with relevant authorities so that whatever challenges were being faced in relation to his proposed game ranching project were resolved expeditiously.
President Lungu further emphasised his government’s desire to attract tangible investment in various sectors of the economy.
President Lungu is part of other world leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The President is also holding bilateral meetings and engaging prospective foreign investors wishing to invest in Zambia as part of the side events to the UN General Assembly.