By JUDITH NAMUTOWE
FIRMS from more than four countries in Europe and Asia have expressed interest in constructing two hotels and a convention centre in Livingstone which will be used to host international events.
The entities are from Germany, China, India and Israel.
Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary Stephen Mwansa confirmed the development in an interview in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Mwansa said a consortium of locals who have expressed interest to partner with foreign entities had already met Government officials on the issue.
The convention centre would house five and three star hotels, a theme park which would house various facilities.
“This will also house a 5,000 seater auditorium with other 10 smaller rooms of different capacities ranging from 100 to 1,000. This will enable delegates to go into different rooms in an event where we have a break away during conferences,” Mr Mwansa said.
Mr Mwansa said the convention centre would have proper exhibition and would enable Zambia to host merger conferences.
He explained that Government was supposed to drive the idea, but that it had limited capacity and lots of competing needs for the few resources and so they opted for a Public Private Partnership.
Mr Mwansa said that this meant that Government would provide land and the private sector would come in, in terms of a developer with somebody coming in to manage the facilities.
“So that is what we are working on. The land is there and we have a number of entities coming through to see and want to invest. One thing that has been common with all of them is they keep asking for sovereign guarantee,” Mr Mwansa said.
He said all the entities were currently working on the plans as they needed to tell Government as to who was partnering with them and how they would fund the project.
Mr Mwansa said government would like to see the project replicated in other areas and not just Livingstone.