LS MFEZ Impresses Sichinga

Minister of commerce, trade and industry, Mr. Robert Sichinga has called on the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) to fully market the multi-facility economic zones (MFEZs) in the country if the levels of foreign investment flow are to increase.

Speaking when he toured the Lusaka South MFEZ, the minister said without proper promotion of the area, it would put to waste all the money government has put in place in the development of such an area.

“I am impressed with what has been done so far in the development of this area, but I am calling on ZDA to intensively market this place if we are to increase the flow of foreign investment,” Mr. Sichinga said.

“Zambia takes pride in its abundant resources but it is high time we changed it from being our comparative advantage to competitive advantage by ensuring that this place is highly marketed to both our local and foreign investors for us to be guaranteed of its development,” he said.

The Lusaka south MFEZ has so far attracted 28 unsolicited expressions of interests from 28 companies with 18 being local and 10 foreign.

Mr. Sichinga said his ministry is also expecting Australian investors in the country, in February this year, to explore various investment opportunities and they have pledged to invest about 4 billion Australian dollars.

And briefing the minister on the development of the Lusaka South Mfez, Site Project Manager Shadreck Saili said a total of USD 15 million has been spent since the beginning of the programme.

He said government has in this year’s budget has allocated USD 4.5 million for the development of the site.
Mr. Saili said the area is open for investment in various sectors adding that to date the first phase of project was almost complete.

“We have done the surveying, the water system designing, we have brought power and we have also fenced up to 17 kilometers of the site,” said Mr. Saili.

The survey conducted in phase one covered 413 hectares with 350 plots of which 244 plots had been surveyed.  The balance of 106 is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012.

Mr. Saili said he was working with the Ministry of Lands to ensure that land is allocated fairly. Among the challenges that the project was faced is the illegal settlement of people on the land and relocation of these squatters. The Kafue city council had been approached to help with the relocation of the illegal settlers. ZDA


Author: zdapr, Posted On: January 20, 2012