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Zambia’s Lusaka-Ndola Road Upgrade Makes Progress Towards Construction

The much-anticipated upgrading of Zambia’s Lusaka-Ndola Road is approaching a key milestone. Eng. Grace Mutembo, Director of the Road Development Agency (RDA), revealed that the concessionaire, MOIC-LN Consortium, is close to getting the requisite funds to begin construction of the dual carriageway. This $577 million project includes not only the 327-kilometer Lusaka-Ndola Road, but also the renovation of the 45-kilometer Luanshya-Fisenge-Masangano Road.

The project operates under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, marking a shift in Zambia’s approach to infrastructure development. This model seeks to attract private sector investment to bridge the gap in funding for critical road projects. Recognizing the urgency of improving road conditions, the Concessionaire began emergency works on the Lusaka-Ndola Road section between Kabwe and Ndola in August 2023. These works, now substantially completed, aimed to improve the road surface through reconstruction, rutting repair, crack sealing, and pothole patching.

Eng. Mutembo further acknowledged the extensive backlog in road maintenance experienced between 2013 and 2020. This period saw a greater focus on construction and rehabilitation, leading to a neglect of maintenance. However, the current administration has prioritized maintenance, allocating 22% of the 2024 Road Sector Budget to this crucial aspect.

The utilization of PPPs is not limited to the Lusaka-Ndola project. The RDA has actively negotiated and signed seven additional PPP projects to address development needs across the country. These projects include:

Ndola-Sakania-Mufulira Road

Lumwana-Kambimba Road

Katete-Chanida Road

Chingola-Kasumbalese Road

Kasomeno-Mwenda Road and Bridge project

Chingola-Mutanda Road

The Joint Donor and Transport Sector Performance Review Forum, which is currently underway, serves as a forum for the Zambian government to discuss these developments and foster collaboration with various development partners such as the African Development Bank, the European Union, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the World Bank, and the Millennium Challenge Account.

The progress achieved on the Lusaka-Ndola Road, as well as the emphasis on PPPs, are encouraging steps toward upgrading Zambia’s road network and infrastructure. This method has the ability to accelerate vital projects, improve connectivity, and boost the country’s economic growth.

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