KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka
A MULTI-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) estimated to cost about US$2 billion is earmarked for development in Kabwe by the provincial chamber of commerce and industry , a development that will result in the economic revival of the district.
Central Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice chairperson Andrew Sinyangwe said the MFEZ, to be established in partnership with Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the local authority, will enhance agri-business and agro-processing, mineral beneficiation, skills development, logistics and manufacturing resulting in the creation of about 3,000 jobs.
Mr Sinyangwe said the MFEZ will also house a skills development centre, housing estate and social amenities such as a modern shopping mall, hotels and conference centres, and sports infrastructure.
Land has since been identified near Mulungushi dam, an area which is mainly characterised by agriculture thus creating market for agricultural produce.
â€œKCCI plans to set up the first private sector-led MFEZ to revive the local economy of Kabwe and the entire Central Province, and to build the capacity of the local small and medium-scale entrepreneurs [SMEs],â€
â€œThe potential for industrialisation and value chains in Kabwe and the surrounding areas of Central Province is viable and a potential contributor to Zambiaâ€™s gross domestic product,â€ he said in an interview on Thursday.
Mr Sinyangwe said the MFEZ, which will also comprise an industrial and logistics parks, is expected to start before the end of this year.
He said Zambia being a transit hub for goods from the major ports of the Southern African Development Community positions Kabwe in the transport corridors traversing Zambia hence the need for the speedy implementation of the MFEZ.
â€œThis provides the ground work for the transformation of our transport corridors into development and economic corridors, which has the potential of boosting exports from Zambia to the rest of Africa and [for] international markets [to]take advantage of new business opportunities presented through trade,â€ he said.
KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka