FINALLY, the Road Development agency RDA has signed a concession agreement under the public private partnership financing model for the development of the Sakania border post access road and 61 kilometre Ndola-Mufulira road.
The Public Private Partnership project will cost over US$76 million for a period of 22 years inclusive of the three years for construction works.
It will include the design, finance, build, operate, maintain and transfer of the road and associated border infrastructure.
Anyone associated with the Copperbelt, will attest to the importance of this road, which has been in a deplorable state for many years, and the Sakania and Mokambo borders for various economic and social activities.
The Ndola-Mufulira road is an essential lifeline for commerce, trade, and development in Zambia. As a major transportation artery, this road plays a crucial role in connecting the resource-rich Copperbelt, specifically Ndola and Mufulira.
The development will bring about economic advancement through the enhancing trade and commerce because the Ndola-Mufulira road serves as a vital link, connecting mining operations, industries, and markets within the Copperbelt.
An efficient road system reduces transportation costs, facilitates the movement of goods and services, and promotes regional trade, especially with the Democratic Republic of Congo, and economic growth.
A well-maintained road improves market access for farmers, manufacturers, and mining companies, fostering increased productivity and competitiveness.
Secondly, it will stimulate investment and Industrialisation by attracting potential investors, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to infrastructure development.
The improved connectivity facilitates easier access to raw materials, encouraging the establishment of new industries and industrial clusters along the road corridor. This, in turn, promotes job creation, increased tax revenue, and overall economic development.
Thirdly, a well-maintained road allows for improved access to educational institutions and healthcare facilities, particularly in rural areas along the Ndola-Mufulira road. Enhanced accessibility ensures that students and patients have reliable and timely access to these essential services, promoting social and human capital development.
Additionally, road upgrades, including pavement rehabilitation, traffic signage, and safety measures, significantly improve road conditions and reduce accidents. In case of emergencies, a well-connected Ndola-Mufulira road enables prompt response times for medical and rescue services, potentially saving lives and reducing the severity of injuries.
The Ndola-Mufulira road is a critical infrastructure asset that catalyses economic growth, social progress, and environmental sustainability in the Copperbelt region and beyond.
Its maintenance, upgrade, and expansion should be of paramount importance to the government and stakeholders to create an enabling environment for trade, investment, tourism, and social development. By prioritizing the improvement of this road, Zambia can unlock its full economic potential and forge a brighter future for its citizens.
It is no wonder that Infrastructure Development minister Charles Milupi urged the concessionaire Jaswin Ports Limited to ensure the Government directive for all infrastructure projects to be delivered timely, at the right cost and to international standards, was adhered to.