NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka
THE African Development Bank (AfDB) is this year expected to disburse about US$100 million to complement Government’s efforts to implement reforms in the energy sector.
In an interview last week, AfDB resident representative Damoni Kitabire said the money is part of the bank’s pledged funding of the three-year US$250 million direct budget support to help develop the sector.
Last year, Minister of Finance Felix Mutati said Government has resumed budget support programmes with AfDB to address some bottlenecks in the energy sector.
“We are working with Government to provide support to various sectors of the economy such as energy, agriculture and infrastructure among others,” Mr Kitabire said.
On infrastructure projects, Mr Kitabire said the bank will disburse funding amounting to US$200 million for improvements to the Serenje-Mpika road.
He said the environmental impact assessment report and resettlement plan by Government are ready paving way for the road works, expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Mr Kitabite also said the road is an important project to Zambia’s economy as it is anticipated to reduce the time and cost of transport, linking the port of Dar-es-salaam to the Copperbelt and connecting to the southern ports of South Africa.
Commenting on the housing deficit gap, which stands at over two million units, Mr Kitabire said AfDB will provide US$20 million to the National Building Society.
“This will be undertaken within the five-year operation plan starting from 2017-2021,” he said.