MINISTRY of Works and Supply has embarked on a programme of redevelopment of idle and wasting assets to increase the net value of property.
The ministry hopes the programme would help address the shortage of office space and contribute to the national revenue base through real estate.
And works and supply minister Sylvia Chalikosa acknowledged that the cooperation between the ministry and the BRIDGIN Foundation of Belgium in the funding of public infrastructure development was a win-win situation.
“The ministry has identified land that has not been developed since independence throughout the country, abandoned buildings as well as some that have outlived their lifespan,” Chalikosa said in a statement.
She stated that the growing population had since led to the growth of public service employees which rose to 217,000 as of 2018 compared to 160,000 in 2011.
Chalikosa said this had ignited the need for redevelopment of assets that were more sustainable and environmental friendly.
“We have been in the lookout for other financial sources under the public-private-partnership in order to facilitate implementation hence the meeting with BRIDGIN Foundation and the funding from them has come at the right time,” said Chalikosa.
Meanwhile, BRIDGIN Foundation president and chief executive officer Professor Tanko Mouhamadou said the foundation’s strategy was articulated around three main pillars of resources, education, and culture.
Prof Mouhamadou said the Foundation did not bring debt to countries they were in partnerships with because they were not a company looking for a return on investments but that it brought in 100 per cent investment to the recipient nation.
“The foundation has set aside a rigorous governance and compliance framework for the effective collaboration between the projects, stakeholders who are government, western solution providers, auditing and management firms, local sub-contractors, research centres and universities,” Prof Mouhamadou said.
He said the Foundation provided funds exclusive for public investments on a public-private partnership (PPP) model.
And Ambassador Munalula Nkandu said there was need to reduce the number of young people on the streets hence the partnership was very important for job creation in the country.
“In line with the 7th National Development Plan, the ministry had developed a strategic plan with a focus on economic diplomacy and the foundation is meant to bring more financing in the country so as to help reduce poverty,” Prof Nkandu said.
She added that she was engaging with other companies in Belgium so that they could begin sourcing agricultural produce from Zambia.
“I am optimistic that the process to sign up BRIDGIN Foundation with various developmental programmes will not stall but put into action for the benefit of the Zambians,” said Prof Nkandu.