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‘Link Zambia 8000 progressing well’

By ANGELA CHISHIMBA  AND JIMMY CHIBUYE
THE Link Zambia 8000 project is progressing well with 22 work contracts signed as of July, 2014, covering 2,245 kilometers.
President Sata told the national assembly during the official opening of the fourth session of the eleventh national assembly that the major projects include Leopards Hill Road to Chirundu in Lusaka Province and the Kitwe – Chingola dual carriageway on the Copperbelt.
Mr Sata said the rehabilitation of the 1,062 kilometers railway line from Livingstone to Chililabombwe has commenced.
He said Zambia Railways Limited has also embarked on the maintenance and repair of the Mulobezi railway line and the inter-mine railway network on the Copperbelt.
In the Aviation sub-sector, government has established the civil aviation authority to regulate air transport.
The Authority has since engaged the European Union (EU) to lift the ban on Zambian registered aircraft to land in the EU.
With regard to airport infrastructure, President Sata said works on the ultra-modern international terminal at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport have commenced and the project is scheduled to be completed in two years.
He also disclosed that construction of a new US$397 million airport in Ndola with complete facilities will commence soon.
And  Copper production is expected to reach one million metri tonnes annually by 2017 when the Kalumbila Sentinel Mine goes into full production.
The President said Mining is a source of employment, foreign exchange earnings and contributes to the gross domestic product.
“In recognition of its critical role, Government will continue creating an enabling environment to attract more investment in the mining sector,” he said.
The President also said gemstones have also become an important contributor to the growth of the mining sector and economy.
He said the increase in sales of US$100.5 million in 2013 was as a result of government’s initiative to auction emeralds locally.
In the energy sector, President Sata said Government has continued to implement projects in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.
Mr Sata said the total generation capacity has risen to 2,310 megawatts in 2014 from 1,669 megawatts in 2011.

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