SOLWEZI-based local investor Fred Kasongu is set to construct a multi-million dollar university complex for engineering in the district.
Dr Kasongu disclosed in an interview during a visit by Expo North West Zambia coordinator Christopher Bwalya that his firm, Freca Mining and Manufacturing, had projected to invest around $500 million in the university complex.
Dr Kasongu took Mr Bwalya, accompanied by Solwezi district administrative officer Anthony Fulwe, on an appraisal tour of the 5-kilometre squared site for the project, east of Solwezi central business district.
The Freca chief executive officer said the project was a local supplement to the investment that was expected in the province with the hosting of the trade and investment exposition from 18 to 24 August.
“It won’t help us to continue relying on people from outside. We need to start laying the foundation ourselves,” Dr Kasongu said on Friday.
He further disclosed that Freca was also in the process of setting up an iron-sheet manufacturing plant in Solwezi, which will add value to the locally mined iron ore and create jobs.
Dr Kasongu said Freca was currently testing an in-house built smelter while more jobs would be created for youths in the districts of North Western Province with feeder satellite smelter plants to boost supply of raw materials for producing the iron-sheets.
Meanwhile, Solwezi district commissioner Rosemary Kamalonga says North Western Province will not go to sleep until it delivers a successful and unique Expo this August.
Kamalonga said the Expo was an important opportunity for local people to engage in partnerships with foreign investors to maximise their gains from the hidden treasures of the province.
“If you want to partner with these people, jack up and work! If our mindset can change there is a lot of things that can change”, Kamalonga said.
She said, when the Expo publicity and marketing sub-committee paid her a courtesy call on her, that the event would provide an opportunity to increase capacity through investment and add value to the region’s abundant raw materials.
Kamalonga said the trade and investment exposition, a government-driven initiative, would open North Western to more jobs and improve the standard of living in the area.
She challenged prominent figures in the country and abroad who hailed from North Western to adopt the mission of the Expo by helping in building momentum toward unveiling the hidden treasures of the region and link local investors to business partnerships.
Kamalonga said if men failed to rally support for the event, the women would take the mantle and complete the job.
And Isaac Kanguya, a consultant to the Expo, said the North Western Province event would direct extra emphasis on driving investment toward manufacturing and processing saying these had wider impact on changing the lives of the people.
The North Western Province will hold its expo from 18 – 24 August later this year.