Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya Constituency, Hon. SUNDAY CHANDA, raised several important questions in the National Assembly today regarding Zambia’s trade and transportation strategies, to which Minister of Transport and Logistics, Hon. MUSEBA FRANK TAYALI, responded as follows:
The government is actively recognizing the trade opportunities in the Africa Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), including the Great Lakes Region, and is taking measures to enhance market access. This includes establishing bilateral relations with countries in the Great Lakes Region and applying to join the Central Transport Corridor Agreement.
Zambia has also signed a Bilateral Trade Agreement with the DRC to promote trade via the Great Lakes Region. Engagements with trading partners and the formalization of informal cross-border trade are ongoing efforts. The government is also hosting roadshows and regional trade fairs to facilitate market access.
The government is working on modernizing and expanding Mpulungu Harbour. This project includes extending the quay platform and increasing cargo handling capacity. A feasibility study supported by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) has been concluded, and resources are being mobilized for the modernization and expansion of the harbor.
A shorter route to Mpulungu Harbour exists via the Pedicle Road through Mansa, Luwingu, Kasama, and Mbala. The government has engaged a contractor to rehabilitate the last 11km of the Pedicle Road and undertake spot improvement works on the remaining 60 kilometers. Additionally, pothole patching works are underway on roads such as Kasama via Mbala to Mpulungu and Mansa to Chembe. Plans are also in place to address potholes along the Kasama-Luwingu Road.
These measures and initiatives aim to strengthen Zambia’s trade ties with the Great Lakes Region, optimize transportation routes, and enhance infrastructure to facilitate trade and economic growth.