By JULIUS PHIRI -
THE government has concluded the tender process for the establishment of industrial yards in Chipata, Solwezi, Mongu, Kasama, Kitwe and Ndola, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe has said.
Ms Mwanakatwe said that the contractors were expected to mobilise and start construction works in the six areas soon.
She said the Government was working to finalise the tenders for Mansa and Lusaka as quickly possible.
Ms Mwanakatwe asked Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) director general Likando Mukumbuta to continue working diligently to make sure that the construction was concluded within a year.
This will enable the government to quickly proceed to the next stage of issuing business loans to the people so that they could occupy the yards, set up workshops and start manufacturing products.
She said this during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Chipata Industrial Yard in Chipata on Tuesday.
Meanwhile 296 projects have been supported by the CEEC in various value chain activities in Eastern Province.
Provincial minister Makebi Zulu said the projects which had been supported in the region included groundnuts, energy, dairy, timber, tourism, gemstones and rice.
He said the total funding for the projects had been a staggering K18 million through both micro-finance and project finance.
“Micro-finance projects are those projects that do not require collateral an indicator that CEEC has been supporting our communities regardless of their social and economic status,” Mr Zulu said.
He said there were some projects such as Super Leisure General Dealers on Lunkwakwa Road, a project that started as small wood processing company before maturing into and furniture supplier and diversified into other areas of business.
“Others include Eastern Comfort Lodge under the tourism value chain which is operating quite competitively,” he said.
Mr Zulu said the province was endowed with a lot of opportunities ranging from agro-business to light manufacturing and hence the confidence that the industrial yard would become an innovative space of various businesses.