CHARLES CHISALA, Samfya
A HUNGARIAN-BORN property magnet says he will persuade other investors to invest in Luapula Province and Zambia in general because it
is an attractive investment destination.
Chief executive officer and owner of GED Africa Limited Rene Hutton-Mills said his group of companies will use the Luapula Expo to showcase the province’s impressive investment climate.
GED Africa Limited has signed a concessional agreement with the governments of Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to build a modern cable-stayed bridge across the Luapula River at Kashiba in Mwense district, in Luapula Province, at a cost of US$500 million.
Mr Hutton-Mills was speaking in an interview in Samfya on Wednesday during the launch of the Luapula Expo and Investment Conference on the shores of Lake Bangweulu.
He said the mega project includes modernisation and expansion of the road between Mwenda in Luapula Province, in Zambia, and Lubumbashi, in Katanga Province, in DRC, to international standards under the first ever public private partnership (PPP) project in the infrastructure sector in both countries.
Mr Hutton-Mills said the project will create 100,000 direct and indirect jobs for both countries.
“The project will be financed by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). GED Africa will recover the investment through tolling over a period of 25 years. We will begin the civil works next year, 2018, after mobilising ourselves,” he said.
Mr Hutton Mills said the 182 kilometre Kasomeno-Mwenda road will include a modern one-stop border post on each side of the bridge, and will reduce the distance of transporting cargo to and from DRC by 500 kilometres.
“We will operate the two one-stop border posts and manage the collection of road tolls for 25 years, after which, we will hand over the infrastructure to the two governments,” he said.
Mr Hutton Mills said the expo and business conference has created an opportunity for his conglomerate to showcase the project to other local and international investors.
Mr Hutton-Mills is the owner of GED Zambia Limited, GED Congo Limited and SARL of South Africa.
And GED Africa Limited country representative for Zambia Marcus Ascott said when other investors and financiers see what GED is doing; they will have confidence to invest in Zambia.