The Zambian government has recently announced that it is evaluating the modernisation of further harbours and canals across the country to boost international trade since currently Mpulungu Harbour in Zambia’s northern province is the only functional port.
The government seeks to raise to international standards key ports and canals in the country to be a reliable trade partner since most of the infrastructure is unused now due to lack of maintenance.
The government has already identified Mongu, Sesheke harbours and another harbor and canal in Shangombo in Zambia’s western province, as well as another canal in north western province, and Itezhi Tezhi harbor in the southern province, explained Zambia’s Minister of Transport and Communication Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Mbololwa Muyaba.
In addition, further developments in infrastructure will be undertook in Luapula, Northern and Muchinga provinces while a navigability study will be carried out on the Kafue River along the Copperbelt, Central, Lusaka, and Southern provinces, Mrs. Muyaba added.
These developments in infrastructure will follow current development works at Mpulungu harbour, where USD 3.7 million of industrial equipment proceeding from the Eurobond sales of last year, are being installed.
A 300-tonne capacity crawler crane, a reach stacker to lift 40-feet and 20-feet containers and 30 desktop computers have been delivered to the port, explained Mpulungu Harbour Corporation Limited Manager Davis Kaluba.
The new equipment will allow Mpulungu Harbour to raise exports and additionally to cement and sugar, it would start exporting maize and soya beans, Mr. Kaluba added.
In addition, a USD 3 million agreement has been signed with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to keep supporting the port’s modernisation and the government expects to extend the current three docks from the about 20 metres length to 120 metres to make it affordable for long vessels operating in Lake Tanganyika.