LUSAKA – Zambia’s state Road Development Agency (RDA) on Monday awarded a $492 million contract to a Chinese company to construct and repair roads in Africa’s second-largest copper producer.
RDA’s Chief Executive Officer Kanyuka Mumba said after the signing of the contract that China Henan International Cooperation would construct 406 km (244 miles) of urban roads in Zambia’s Copperbelt region.
“Once completed the improved road network will ease the movement of goods and services,” Mumba said, adding that the financing for the project would be concluded within six months.
The government through its National Road Fund Agency would provide the funding for the project, he said.
President Edgard Lungu said on Friday that investment in infrastructure that supported growth would benefit Zambia and it did not risk falling into a debt trap.
The economy is likely to grow by less than 5 percent in 2015 due to a power crunch that has hit output from mining companies, already grappling with a slide in global copper prices.
Zambia also gave China’s Star Software Technology a $273 million contract to complete its migration to digital broadcasting by December 2017, a government official said.
Star Software, which completed phase 1 of the project in urban areas in May, would supply, deliver and install digital broadcasting equipment to the rest Zambia, a senior official in the broadcasting ministry Godfrey Malama told Reuters. (Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by James Macharia)