By KENNEDY MUPESENI –
THE Government has embarked on the installation of more than 1,000 mobile telecommunication towers across the country at a cost of US$280 million.
In the first phase ,Government successfully constructed 204 mobile telecommunication towers in selected parts of the country.
Transport and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba said 1,009 communication towers would be constructed during the second phase.
“We have secured US$280 million from the Export–Import Bank of China and we are rolling out 1009 in selected sites across the country which will increase mobile connectivity to 93 per cent coverage,” Mr Mushimba said.
He said Government was committed to achieving universal access to telecommunication in the country.
Mr Mushimba observed that a well developed Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector can contribute significantly to the economic development of the country.
He added that the centrality of the country required robust transport facilities in terms of rail, road, air as well as water.
“We have been heavily reliant on one mode of transport, but the scenario is changing, we are modernising our rail infrastructure and
adding new ones.
“We are also improving our airports while working on a plan to improve water transport,” he said when he appeared on ZNBC’s Government Forum on Monday night.
Mr Mushimba reiterated that Government would like to see more heavy cargo transported by rail as the reason his Ministry was working on a Statutory Instrument(SI) to compel heavy cargo go through rail.
He disclosed that the railway line being constructed by a Chinese company from Chipata to Serenje would have a speed of 160 kilometres per hour.
Mr Mushimba said this would change the future of the rail subsector for better and encourage the use of the rail transportation.