$40 billion boost for energy and transport sectors

COMESA's investment promotion arm, the Regional Investment Agency (RIA) promoted 150 projects at the recent 3rd Investment Forum held in Sham El Sheikh, Egypt.

Among them were six regional ventures aimed at facilitating and enhancing connectivity among a number of the bloc’s member states in transport and energy sectors.

The 150 projects have an initial investment cost of more than $40 billion. Of these, the first is a development corridor that connects Djibouti, Ethiopia and Sudan. The second is a railway project that links Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan known as the Lamu Corridor while the third is a railway that connects Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania through the Kagera River Basin.

Information obtained from the COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka indicates that the fourth project aims at connecting Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya by a power grid interconnection. The expected investment cost of this project is $880 million. The fifth project is a power interconnection between Ethiopia and Kenya and the last but not least is the construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas terminal in Djibouti that will enable the government to make natural gas as an alternative source of energy. The cost of the feasibility study for this project is estimated at $1 million.

The rest of the projects are classified into nine main categories, which are agriculture, food processing, livestock, real estate, infrastructure, tourism, energy, information technology and financial services.

For Zambia, the projects RIA is promoting include Katito Farm Limited, Citrus Fruit Plantation, Kasaba Bay Development and the Kariba Lake Waterfront Development. Others are the Chingola-Kitwe Dual Carriage Way, Chirundu Shopping Complex, Airport Infrastructure, Modern Hospital and the Kafue Gorge Lower construction of 750 megawatts hydropower station.

The forum saw RIA arranging bilateral meetings between investment officials and investors.

RIA is headed by Mrs Heba Salama and is headquartered in Cairo.

Nawa Mutumweno

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