Letter to the Editor

Let’s learn from Namibia on road financing

Dear editor,
MORE often when I travel out of the country, whether on business or holidays, I make it a point and seek to learn, appreciate, take notes of what others are doing on national development, cultural habits and probably take one or two for the growth of our country, Zambia.
In the past three years, I have fortunately been to Namibia, specifically Walvis Bay, several times doing my other line of business in logistics, clearing and forwarding.
I have seen some improvements in infrastructural developments, specifically on road construction.
There is a super dual carriage highway under construction, which links Walvis Bay and Swakopmund in the Namib Desert, popularly known to many as Dune Seven.
It is a distance of about 45 kilometres, and if my memory serves me well, I have personally witnessed the roadworks going on for over two years now.
During interactions with locals whilst in Namibia, there is an appreciation of the role played by road infrastructure as a key enabler in economic growth for the country.
This resonates well with us locally as was espoused during the launch of the 8,000 Link Zambia project by then President Michael Sata (MHSRIEP). It fundamentally sought to have sustainable road infrastructure in place to make sure that all regions are interconnected for easy movement of goods and services.
It is one key enabler for job creation and socio-economic growth for a country, and Namibia is exactly doing the same. The parallels are glaring and we can also learn from other people’s experiences.
Projects of such magnitude have ripple effects of direct and indirect job creation. This road has a central reservation which they are currently working on and an overpass coming from the shared international airport between the two coastal towns (Swakopmund and Walvis Bay). The bigger picture through interactions is for high vehicle traffic volumes in the years to come as the two coastal towns are a holiday destination to both local and foreign tourists. This way a key sector of the economy (tourism) is enabled and capacitated.
We believe Namibians are doing it. We had started and let’s get it done. Remember, Namibia is one of the countries in the SADC region our founding President Kenneth Kaunda and his team of very humble education managed assist to get independence. So it is easy for us to engage them and learn how they are managing to finance such national purse-stretching projects.
Founder, BuyZed campaign

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