KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka
ABOUT K3 million has been raised out of the targeted K4 million for the hosting of the Luapula Expo, which is aimed at showcasing the investment potential of the province.
Luapula Province Minister Nixon Chilangwa said the provincial administration is optimistic that the targeted budget will be met for the successful hosting of the first-ever expo, which starts this week.
President Lungu is expected to grace the event which runs from July 26 to 31 and has attracted local and international delegates.
Mr Chilangwa said this on Friday when Zanaco Bank donated K70,000 towards the expo.
“Over 60 exhibitors from various sectors have confirmed participation – all is set. We had budgeted K4 million and we have so far raised K3 million and all commitments indicate that we shall raise the targeted amount,” he said.
Mr Chilangwa, however, said the province has limited accommodation and that the provincial administration has since engaged residential property owners to rent out spare rooms to accommodate delegates.
“We have issues with accommodation but we have gone out of the way by going to the community to ask people with houses with extra rooms to rent them out to delegates coming for the expo. By so doing, we are also empowering them financially,” he said.
He also said the limited bed space creates a business opportunity investors should consider venturing in.
“Attracting investments to the province is necessary as it will create jobs and reduce poverty,” Mr Chilangwa said.
The province remains underdeveloped despite it having mineral resources, fertile land, water resources to support power generation and tourist attractions, hence the need to attract investments that will unlock its economic and employment potential.
At the same occasion, Zanaco Bank chief executive officer Henk Mulder commended the Luapula Province administration for taking up the initiative to promote the investment and unlock the employment potential.
“[Of the total population of] the province, 50 percent are young people that need jobs, and by hosting the expo, the area will be opened up for business and employment,” he said.
Mr Mulder said the bank will continue to support the economic potential of the area through the provision of banking services.
Currently, there are have two branches in Mansa and Kawambwa while the digital platform is providing banking services to other areas.