President Edgar Lungu has directed the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development to ensure that works on the multi-million dollar Kasomeno-Mwenda toll road and the bridge project in Chembe district in Luapula province commence without further delay.
President Lungu noted that meaningful development cannot take place without supporting infrastructure.
The President also urged Ministry of Works and Supply in collaboration with the Luapula Provincial Administration to ensure that the Kashiba-Kasenga border post in Mwense is reactivated by ensuring that the pontoon is operational.
President Lungu said the border is of great importance to support private sector enterprises.
The President said the move will help companies such as Mansa Sugar Limited which targets to start exporting its produce to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) adding that the development will call for the Kashiba-Kasenga trade corridor to be worked on as soon as possible.
The Head of State was speaking when he officially commissioned the US$50 million Mansa Sugar Plant located in Chembe district in Luapula Province which was witnessed by Katanga Governor Jacques Kyabula Katwe and his entourage from DRC.
President Lungu commended Sakiza Group of Companies which owns Mansa Sugar Limited for creating about 1,500 direct and indirect jobs to the local people and also responding to government’ call of diversification especially in agriculture and agro processing.
Dr. Lungu further said it is pleasing that the initial investment of US$28 million in the project has been raised to US$100 million out of which US$50 million has already been invested saying this is a clear testimony of the country’s fertile investment to stir business growth.
The President has assured government’ continued commitment towards ensuring that bottlenecks hindering investment in the country are addressed in order to attract more investments in other parts of Zambia especially rural areas.
And speaking earlier, Mansa Sugar Limited, Head of Projects and Corporate Affairs, Bhupendr Singn said the company is targeting to increase its sugar plantation from the current 5,000 to 10, 000 hectares although the process of acquiring the additional 5,000 hectares from the traditional leadership has been slow.
Mr.Singn disclosed that the company is also in the process of establishing an out-grower scheme in Chembe district in collaboration with local people to cover up to 1,000 hectares.
And Chembe Member of Parliament Sabastian Kopulande assured the residents that government will continue to promote more investment opportunities in the province so that the region becomes an industrial hub.
Meanwhile, President Lungu also met traditional leaders from Kawambwa district who include Senior Chief Mushota, Chief Chama and Munkanta.
Senior Chief Mushota who spoke on behalf of others thanked the President for visiting the area to check on developmental projects and assured him of support beyond the 2021 general elections.
The President later visited the cassava out grower project by Sunbird Plantation Bio Energy situated in the Luena farm block in Kawambwa, which will be used as feed stock in the ethanol project.
President Lungu is on a two- day visit to Luapula Province to check on developmental projects in the area.