MACKSON WASAMUNU, Dallas
ZAMBIA is looking forward to deepening its cooperation with the United States (US) for the mutual benefit of respective citizens, Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba has said.
The minister said this during a visit to AECOM headquarters in Dallas, Texas.
He said the level of infrastructure development in the US is amazing and Zambia would like to tap into such technologies in its quest to improve its own facilities.
And Zambiaâ€™s Ambassador to the US Palan Mulonda has told corporate players in Texas that the country needs partners to develop infrastructure that will stand the test of time.
He said Zambia needs strategic partners who can build durable and quality infrastructure in the communication, roads and rail sectors.
Mr Mulonda said Government wants to invest in infrastructure that will be relevant to the needs of the people in the next 50 years.
He explained that Mr Kalaba was in the US to forge partnerships that will help Zambia develop.
Mr Mulonda said Zambiaâ€™s population will grow to over 30 million people by 2064, and so the country should plan for infrastructure that will meet the needs for such numbers.
â€œSo what we do today with our partners is very critical as we invest in infrastructure. We need infrastructure that will be long-term and America has shown that; because their kind of infrastructure is long-term in natureâ€, Mr Kalaba said.
He said Zambia is bracing herself for the challenges of 2064 when the population is expected to reach 30 million.
â€œSo, what we do today with our partners is very critical as we interrogate the models of what infrastructure are we putting in place,â€ he said.
And speaking for AECOM, Wendy Lopez said the company takes pride in building infrastructure of quality standards.
â€œWe need to find local people who can build capacity in infrastructure development and be able to work on the projects themselves,â€ she said.
Ms Lopez said AECOM is strongly committed to helping African governments address their social, economic and political challenges.
â€œOur dedicated teams work closely with governments, humanitarian organisations and other agencies to provide specialised advisory services that enable us to design and implement initiatives that improve the quality of life for all people in Africa,â€ she said.
AECOM specialises in developing solutions in architecture, building engineering, construction services, design, planning and economics.
It also deals in energy, environment, government, mining, consultancy, programme management and transportation.
MACKSON WASAMUNU, Dallas