Category Archives: Zambia

Financiers Conference: Countries Seek Funds to Finish the $1.2b Regional Power Interconnector

A financers’ conference for the 2,300km Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya (ZTK) power interconnector concluded yesterday, where the three project countries presented their status of implementation report and financial requirements to potential funders to complete the remaining sections.

The ZTK is a $1.2 billion priority project of the tripartite group comprising COMESA, East Africa Community and Southern Africa Development Community as well as the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) under the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and the Africa Power Vision.

The project involves the construction of bidirectional high voltage power transmission lines and associated substations from Kabwe in Zambia through Tanzania and terminating at

Isinya in Kenya. The European Union under the 10th European Development Fund provided the initial financing of 4.4 million Euros for the preparatory activities of the project.

The Kenya section is fully financed and already under construction. Zambia’s requires $160m for the uncommitted parts and is already in advanced discussions with some financiers for its remaining sections. The World Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have expressed interest to finance the Zambian sections. Tanzania is also in discussion with the World Bank and the French Development Bank (AFD) for $425m financing for the remaining parts.

In 2014, Energy Ministers from the three States signed an Intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding which required that each country build infrastructure within its boundaries. Further, it required the countries have in place a Project Management Unit with Zambia undertaking the overall coordination. The countries were also required to establish trading mechanisms. The Ministers set December 2018 as the date of its commissioning.

The ZTK seeks to interconnect the three countries and create a link between the Southern African Power Pool and the East African Power Pool making it possible to transmit power from Cape to Cairo. Upon completion, the project is expected to enhance electricity trade, improve security of electricity supply and foster social-economic development and regional integration.

At the opening of the financiers’ conference, the Vice President of Zambia Mrs. Inonge Wina said there could never be any meaningful development if African countries ignored investment in power generation. In a speech presented by the Minister in the office of the Vice President Sylvia Chalikosa, the Vice President said African countries should continue investing in power generation to promote development in the continent.

“This project will stimulate and support new investment in power generation, transmission, distribution and rural electrification infrastructure,” she said.

Zambia has constructed the first 400km 330 KV line from Pensulo to Kasama including the expansion of the substations which were commissioned in 2015, according to Zambia’s Energy Minister David Mabumba. In his statement at the Conference, the Minister urged cooperating partners to provide financing for the remaining sections in Zambia.

The NEPAD Head of Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme Mr. Symerre Grey Johnson said lack of electricity in Africa remains one of the biggest barriers to the continent’s economic development and prosperity.

Mr. Johnson who also represented the COMESA Secretary General Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya said Africa had immense green energy potential that could be economically exploited. Other speakers at the conference included the Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet of Zambia, Mr. Chistopher Mvunga and Mr. Henry Karanja representing the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Kenya.

Development partners supporting the ZTK project include the European Union, the Africa Development Bank, the World Bank and EU. Others are the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and European Investment Bank a(EIB), China’s First Overseas Infrastructure Development (COIDIC) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

Caucus Seeks to Integrate Land Linked Countries into Maritime Transport

Experts in port management, policy makers and financiers from across Africa began a two-day meeting in Zambia to explore how to reshape policy and harness the benefits that accrue from maximizing the comparative advantages of land linked countries.

Organized by the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA), the meeting targets land linked countries as key facilitators of trade, investments and the development of the maritime sector in East and Southern Africa. Zambia’s Vice President Mrs. Inonge Wina opened the meeting.

PMAESA is an intergovernmental body comprising Port Authorities, Terminal Operators, government line ministries, logistics and maritime service providers drawn from 25 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa with 11 land-linked countries under its jurisdiction.

Addressing the delegates, PMAESA Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Namibian Ports Authority Mr. Gerson Bisey Uirab described land-linked countries as part of the architecture of the maritime sector which must be fully integrated.

“The maritime sector offers several opportunities and a future that can support the transformation of African economies,” Mr Uirab said. “However, this demands that the region develops a comprehensive view of what the maritime sector could be and what it could offer.”

He said the conference, whose theme is; ‘Raising the profile of land linked countries in the logistics and maritime value chains’ provides the opportunity to discuss this in detail and reshape the policy.

The PMAESA meeting has in recent years revised its approach to focus on the total value chain in response to global competition. According to Mr. Uirab, the aim is to address the needs of member countries, including the participation of the private sector to ensure greater collaboration.

Zambia’s Vice President commended the organizers for having the meeting in her land linked country for the first time in the history of PMAESA. This, she added shows that land linked countries like Zambia have been recognized for the key role they can play in maritime transport.

She said: “Hosting this important function is an endorsement of the need to be inclusive in world affairs and will help bridge the gap that landlocked countries face in accessing services of the blue economy.”

COMESA Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Dr Kipyego Cheluget said COMESA was proud to be associated with PMAESA and the 2017 Conference to address diverse issues under Maritime Transport and Logistics.

“I am convinced that solutions and strategies to take the subsector forward will be generated during the conference,” Amb. Cheluget said. “These solutions should essentially contribute towards sustainable transport systems and reduction in the cost of doing business for our region.”

The Head of the Development Bank of Southern Africa Mr Davies Pwele revealed that the institution will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PMAESA to become the preferred financier for the development of port infrastructure in Eastern and Southern Africa.

PMAESA was founded in 1973 by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to promote and nurture best practices among sea ports and the logistical industry in general. It promotes the role and competitive advantage of dry ports and inland waterways within the region to drive intra-Africa trade and regional integration with the aim of reducing the cost of doing business.

International Monetary Fund

Zambia signs Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement

Zambia has become the 17th country to sign the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Honourable Margaret Mwanakatwe signed the TFTA Agreement on Friday 17 June 2016 in Lusaka.

“Zambia wishes to join the other countries that signed the agreement with a clear understanding that the establishment of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area will boost trade among the participating countries as a result of market expansion. Our country stands to benefit from this once the TFTA is fully operational,” Mrs Mwanakatwe said.

Out of the total projected aggregate net benefit for the TFTA of over US$ 3.3 billion per annum, Zambia will get US$149.9 million annually, without counting the expected new investment opportunities into the priority areas set in the diversification, value addition and innovation programs. This is according to trade experts at COMESA Secretariat.

Minister Mwanakatwe was hopeful that the next steps of concluding the negotiations on market access offers, rules of origin and ratification to effect implementation of the agreement would be finalized soon.
Zambia has been an active Member State in the negotiations, providing strong leadership especially on key issues of rules of origin, customs, trade facilitation, and trade remedies.

COMESA Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Nagla El Hussainy commended Zambia for signing the TFTA and urged the remaining countries to do so.
“….I would like to congratulate and thank the Government of Zambia for this bold move and a re-statement of its commitment to the tripartite goal. The signing we have witnessed today brings the number of signatories to well over 60% of the tripartite membership,” Ambassador Nagla said.
The Tripartite Free Trade Area was officially launched by Heads of State and Governments in Sharm El Sheikh Egypt on June 10, 2015.

Ambassador Nagla added that by all accounts, it had been expected that outstanding issues for negotiation would have been finalized by now. The outstanding issues that are fundamental for a Free Trade Area are tariff liberalization, rules of origin and the signing and ratification of the TFTA Agreement to make it operational. In some areas there has been progress, although still inadequate.

Once the TFTA is fully operational, it will usher in a single tripartite policy framework covering 26 countries in key regulatory areas affecting and promoting trade and investment. For the first time, this single regulatory regime will cover the three Regional Economic Communities (COMESA, EAC and SADC) in the areas of rules of origin, standards (health and technical), customs cooperation, trade facilitation, trade remedies, non-tariff barriers, and dispute settlement; as well as the general principles and rules on trade in the bigger tripartite region.

In addition, because it covers half of Africa in terms of membership, economic and geographical size, the Tripartite has the critical political and strategic importance of being a launch pad for the Continental FTA negotiations which have already been launched on 15 June 2015 in Johannesburg. The whole world is looking on and waiting with bated breath for progress in the implementation of the Tripartite FTA.

Key next steps for Zambia and other tripartite countries include – ratification of the Tripartite FTA, awareness creation among stakeholders and users especially the business community, manufacturers, and logistics operators about the new opportunities that are opening up, so that Zambia can benefit from the larger tripartite market.

This can be done by adopting a strategy of marketing Zambia as part of the large tripartite market with a harmonized regulatory framework for trade in order to attract investment into the areas prioritized by the country on the basis of comparative and competitive advantage and the goals of diversification of the economy; and actively participating in the negotiations on the remaining issues.

Other countries that have signed the TFTA are Angola, Burundi, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.


COMESA gets 10 acres for new Headquarters

The government of Zambia has allocated 10 acres of land to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) for the construction its new headquarters.
The new site is located about two kilometres from the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport along the Great East Road that leads from the city of Lusaka to Malawi.
The area has been zoned-off for the development of government complexes, hotels and is within the vicinity of both the existing and the new international airport whose construction has already been commissioned.


A ministerial team led by the Chairman of the COMESA Council of Ministers Hon Ato Ahmed Shide toured the land Tuesday 15 September 2015 and expressed satisfaction on its quality and size.

“We welcome the gesture by the Government of Zambia. Once completed, the new headquarters is going to be bigger and will attract other investments within the area. It will strengthen the operations of COMESA to serve the region well,” Hon. Shide who is the Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Ethiopia said.

The allocation of the land is in fulfillment of the obligations of the government of Zambia under the Host Agreement. Currently, the COMESA Secretariat is located in downtown Lusaka.The Zambia Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe described the new site as most befitting for locating the headquarters of a regional economic community such as COMESA.The initial cost of the project is estimated at US$47 million. Different models of financing the construction will be presented to the Council of Ministers meeting in December 2015 for decision making.Preliminary work that includes architectural designs have already been done and what remains is the decision of the Council of Ministers on the road map for mobilization of funds for the construction to begin.

The new headquarters will have two state of the art conferencing facilities with capacity to accommodate 1,000 people. It will incorporate the Green design in terms of energy saving, water recycling, electrical generation through voltaic cells, day lighting using solar panels and waste management.
The ministerial team of six countries was constituted by the Council of Ministers in March this year with the mandate of handling the construction of the new Secretariat for COMESA. It comprises Ethiopia (Chair) Madagascar (Deputy Chair) D R Congo (Rapportuer), Zambia (host), Egypt and Sudan.

COMESA Secretary- General Sindiso Ngwenya said surveyors had already started working on the land. He said the growth of COMESA as a regional body necessitated relocation to more spacious location.
The Minister of Trade in Sudan Hon. Salah Mohamed El-hassan was part of the Ministerial team. Madagascar was represented by the Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Thierry Venty while Egypt and the D R Congo were represented by Ambassador H.E Ragai Tawfik Nasr and Chargé d’Affaires H.E. Mirindi Mongane respectively.


Tripartite has secured $4.5m for infrastructure

The COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite has secured an USD 4.5m grant from the NEPAD – Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility. Out of this facility, USD 1.7m will go to Botswana to implement infrastructure projects that will strengthen trade between COMESA and SADC.

Secretary General of COMESA Sindiso Ngwenya disclosed this when he received credentials from the Botswana High Commissioner to Zambia and Special Representative to COMESA Mr Lebonaamang Thanda Mokalake. This was in a brief ceremony at the COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka.

He said the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Project Preparation and Implementation Unit (PPIU) hosted in the COMESA Secretariat was collaborating with Ministry of Transport and Communications in Botswana for the improvements of two roads sections on the North South Corridor that will further strengthen the trade exchange between Tripartite RECs and Botswana.

The works include preparation of the Feasibility Studies and Engineering Designs for the 64 km Pandamatenga to Nata road and 111 km Palapye to Martins Drift road.

In his remarks, the High Commissioner hailed the bold decision taken by the COMESA-EAC-SADC to launch the tripartite Free Trade Area as a milestone in the development of the region.

“Botswana and Zambia host the headquarters of the SADC and COMESA respectively and therefore have a great responsibility to ensure the tripartite arrangement works”, he said. He cited the Kazungula Bridge that links Zambia and Botswana whose construction is underway as a key regional infrastructure project that will spur trade between COMESA and SADC.

Mr Ngwenya observed that Botswana offered crucial lessons to the region especially in the management of mineral resources especially diamonds as the anchor to regional development.

“It is also important to observe that aided by strong macroeconomics fundamental, a rich mineral resource base and a conducive investment climate, Botswana has in the past five years attracted a significant number of institutional investors,” Mr Ngwenya said.

In 2013, COMESA supported the government of Botswana in the development of its national climate change policy, response strategy and action plan with a grant of $120,000 from the Tripartite climate change programme budget. Currently, the draft policy and strategy have been developed and validated by the technical reference group and are to be debated in parliament before submission to cabinet for final approval.

The Tripartite Climate Change Programme is also supporting Botswana in the area of climate smart agriculture through sub grants to FAO and the Golden Valley Agriculture Research Trust (GART). This involves setting up and building the capacity of the national conservation agriculture Task Force as well as setting up demonstration plots in Nata in the north of the country.


Power inter connector

Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania in joint power project

Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya have signed an Inter-Governmental Memorandum of Understanding (IGMOU) for the implementation of a Power Inter-connector project. This will involve the construction of a high voltage transmission line from Zambia, traversing Tanzania to Kenya linking the national power transmission lines of the three countries.

The main objective of the proposed project is to enhance electricity trade, improve security and reliability of electricity supply and foster economic development and regional integration.

The scope of the project includes the construction of a 697 km, transmission Inter-connector from Serenje in Zambia to Mbeya in Tanzania and reinforcement of the Tanzanian transmission system to allow the system to transfer the necessary power to Kenya. It also includes the construction of a new 260km transmission line between Arusha in Tanzania and Nairobi in Kenya. The current routing of the project is Kabwe-Pensulo-Kasama-Mbeya Iringa-Singida-Arusha-Isinya.

The Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya (ZTK) Power Inter-connector will be linked in Kabwe (Zambia) to the 330km transmission backbone of Zambia which connects to the southern Africa Power Pool.

The IGMOU was signed by Hon. Davis Chirchir, Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum (Kenya) Hon. Professor Sospeter Muhongo, Minister of Energy and Minerals (Tanzania) and Hon. Christopher Yaluma, Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Zambia).

The three described the IGMOU as a statement of political intent by their three countries and a commitment to implement the (ZTK) Power inter-connector project.

The signing ceremony took place in Livingstone, Zambia, Monday 15 December 2014 and was attended amongst others Mr Gilles Hervio, Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Zambia and COMESA and COMESA Assistant Secretary General Dr. Kipyego Cheluget.

The event was organized by the Office for Promoting Private Power Investment (OPPPI) under the Ministry of Energy and Water Development in Zambia with the support from COMESA through the EU-funded Regional Integration Support Programme (RISP).