Bank Group and Zambia’s Ministry of Works Discuss Major Multinational Operation
On the sidelines of the North-South conference which recently took place in Lusaka, Zambia, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group Vice President for Infrastructure, Mandla Gantsho, recently met with officials of Zambia’s ministry of work to discuss a major multinational project. In line with one of the major themes of the North-South Conference, Mr. Gantsho met with a Zambian team, led by Permanent Secretary Bizwayo Nkunika, and discussed progress towards the development of the Zambian section of the NACALA Development Corridor Project, a major multinational operation supported by the Bank that is expected to increase the overall volume of traffic in goods and persons between Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. Vice President Gantsho urged the government to expedite the preparation of the technical design works and studies in order to ensure that project implementation remains on schedule, and according to the ADF-XI lending cycle. He said this would enable the government to take advantage of additional resources from the regional operations window, therefore reducing the financing pressure on the ADF XI country allocation of UA 110.74 million. Mr. Gantsho re-affirmed the Bank’s commitment to financing the operation, adding that the Bank had already set side UA 54 million out of the regional operations window and UA 18 million from the Zambia country allocation to finance the operation. The AfDB field office resident representative in the country, Vivienne Apopo, reported that due to delays in finalizing the studies, the Zambian section of the project had been moved into the second phase. She informed the team that the project would be presented to the AfDB board of directors either in Dec 2009 or early 2010.
The government team thanked the Bank for its increased focus on the development of regional infrastructure which, it observed, would help in boosting regional trade between Zambia and its neighbors - Malawi and Mozambique. The team also expressed the need to invest in additional activities that would increase the level of development along the corridor. They cited activities in the agriculture sector such as processing, marketing, and rural feeder roads, hotels, and other tourism-related infrastructure.
Mr. Gantsho later promised to take up the issue of developing complementary activities in agriculture and tourism with relevant departments in the Bank upon return to Tunis. He expressed the need to increase efforts at diversifying the economy, strengthening the national monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure that better development results are achieved and sustained as well as minimizing the impact of future volatility in copper prices.