Minister of Infrastructure Housing and Urban Development has said that the Southern African Business Development Forum will invest over $3 billion for the eleven roads selected under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) road package dubbed the Western Trade Facilitation Routes, spanning four provinces – Copperbelt, North-Western, Western and Southern, and totalling over 2000km.
In a post on his Facebook page, the Minister said that the construction of the eleven roads selected under this PPP package will be solely financed by the Southern African Business Development Forum and that this bid was unsolicited as the investor brought in the idea and even selected the roads.
The agreement to construct the Livingstone -Katima Mulilo Road, Kasempa -Kaoma Road, Luampa Junction-Machile-Simungoma Road, Tapo-Kalabo-Sikongo-Angola Border Road, Kankolonkolo-Lufwanyama-Kasempa Road and Sioma -Shangombo Road, including an 8.5km bridge across the Kwando River at Shangombo boma, among others, will help facilitate international trade extending from the DRC up to Angola and Namibia.
Mr Milupi further said that the PPP agreement was signed on August 10, 2021 by the Office of the Vice President headed by Mrs. Inonge Wina at the time, adding that as earlier assured, the UPND government was deeply involved in establishing the ultimate cost of the PPP project to ensure it is quoted at the right price.
Mr Milupi said that it is true that discussions around the Western Trade Facilitation Routes PPP potential road project, started two days before the August 12, 2021 general election, and they are now at the technical contract stage with the selected bidder as announced by the RDA.
The Minister further said that these discussions will not be stopped just because they started under the previous government.
“This is not the only core road corridor available for interested entities to develop using the PPP Model. There are other such packages. Now that the PPP Council of Ministers has been re-constituted, be assured things will be more clearer in terms of how this PPP Model will work.
“But what will be fundamentally different under the New Dawn administration is, these discussions on PPP road projects will be carried out in a transparent manner, with the people being updated at every stage, and there will be sufficient due dilligence so that Zambians are not shortchanged in the process.
“Let me reassure you, fellow citizens, that your government will NOT borrow money for infrastructure development owing to the huge public debt. Mainly, we want to facilitate vital infrastructure development across the country through the Public-Private Partnership Model,” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, Former Ambassador to Ethiopia Emmanuel Mwamba has described the Southern Africa Business Development Forum which will invest $3.7billion for the eleven roads selected under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) 2000km road package dubbed the Western Trade Facilitation Routes as a small NGO founded in 2017 and registered in South Africa.
According to Mr Mwamba SABDF defines itself as a Non-Profit Company incorporated in South-Africa, working towards the continent’s integration, especially the SADC region with strategic objective of enabling the SADC countries to stimulate economic development and increase their economic growth through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and Rural Development led expansion enabling poor smallholders to take advantage of the market opportunities.
Mr. Mwamba said that this is a $3.7billion project and a 25-year Concession on the charge of our road network that requires that we scrutinize this proposal closely and seek to understand the source of the money and that Zambia must place a stringent mechanism to ensure that if funds were secured, they would be spent on the construction of the said roads.
Mr Mwamba concluded by saying that, in his view, there are available financing institutions and established companies of good repute the Zambian government can engage to pursue public private partnerships projects and that NGOs should be kept out of the space.