PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says the construction of the Mwinilunga-Jimbe road in North Western Province will promote international trade between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He said this in Mwinilunga yesterday during the ground breaking ceremony for the upgrading of the Mwinilunga-Jimbe road which will cost Government over US$ 100 million.
President Lungu noted that the state of the road over the years had hindered the maximisation of trade between the two countries but that once completed, the project would impact positively on areas such as agriculture, tourism and mining thereby facilitating trade for the two countries and beyond.
He said the poor state of the road had hindered the movement of goods and services as cases of heavy and light vehicles getting stuck or breaking down on the road were common and said the state of affairs should never be allowed to continue.
“Undoubtedly, the poor state of the road over the years had hindered the full realisation of the trade potential between the two countries and beyond. Stories of heavy and light vehicles getting stuck or breaking down on this road are common in our news, a situation that must not be allowed to continue.
“Once completed, the road will impact positively on sectors such as agriculture, tourism, and mining and this road will also connect Zambia to the Democratic Republic of Congo at Jimbe, thereby facilitating trade between the two countries and beyond,” President Lungu said.
He said Government had prioritised the construction and rehabilitation of roads across the country as evidenced by projects such as the Link Zambia 8000 under which most of the major roads had been completed while others were still under construction because it realised that there could be no meaningful development in the absence of good road infrastructure which was a catalyst to development.
President Lungu called upon the people of Jimbe and Mwinilunga to offer maximum support to the contractors and engineers as they carried out their work by not engaging into acts such as vandalism which could delay or frustrate the works on the road.
He said Government was spending huge sums of money to construct roads but unfortunately, vandalism had become rife in other parts of the country where roads had been constructed.
The works on the 100 kilometre Mwinilunga-Jimbe road would be undertaken by Freca Mining and Manufacturing Limited and are expected to be completed in 36 months.
Earlier in the day, President Lungu held a meeting with seven traditional leaders led by Senior Chief Kanongesha of the Lunda speaking people.