Edgar Lungu. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Edgar Lungu. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Lusaka — Zambia has awarded a Chinese firm a $1.2bn contract to expand part of a key road linking Zambia to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and southern African neighbours, President Edgar Lungu said on Friday.

China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Co-operation (CJIC) will build the 321km Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway over four years, Lungu said during the launch.

Zambia is Africa’s second biggest copper producer and Ndola is the capital of the nation’s copper-belt region. Chinese investment in Zambia already includes roads, agriculture, mining and energy projects such as a 750MW hydro-power station in the south of the country.

"The Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway will improve the flow of traffic, thereby drastically reducing road traffic accidents on our roads," Lungu said, without stating how it will be financed. "Increased traffic on our roads due to the booming economic activities in various sectors, especially in the mining sector, requires an appropriate response such as this one."

The project, one of the biggest in Zambia’s history, is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs during the construction phase, Lungu said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in 2015 that the country would plough $60bn into African development projects to boost agriculture, build roads, ports and railways and cancel some debt.

Reuters

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