LUAPULA Province is both geographically and economically advantaged and has prospects of integrating a number of players and sectors in the government’s industrialisation agenda.
It is therefore important to appreciate why the province has the presence of President Edgar Lungu has a guest on a four-day working visit.
To set the industrialisation agenda in motion, there are a number of projects that have been initiated within the stretch of a decade and they are timely as primacy for any meaningful long term developmental agenda.
From September 2014 to August 2016, the government initiated the groundwater development in the province under the then Ministry of Local Government and Housing and it was to take place in six districts – Nchelenge, Mwense, Milenge, Chipili and Chembe.
From the time the project was completed, 176 boreholes have been constructed. It is development of this nature that the PF 2021-26 manifesto has taken the issue of water development seriously and will use the Luapula model to tap into the economic prospects of water bearing in mind that Zambia has 40 percent of the water volume in Southern Africa.
The emerging potential in the province has won the hearts of the cooperating partners who have now seen it attractive to allocate the region resources.
Notably, on May 15, 2019, the Word Bank’s Executive Board of Directors approved International Development Association (IDA) financial facility to improve natural resources management in selected districts and the province was again at the receiving end with a substantial allocation.
Out of 16 districts from three provinces, Luapula had five districts – Chifunabuli, Kawambwa, Lunga, Nchelenge and Samfya. This gesture gave the province a fair opportunity to have reasonable arrivals for purposes of investing in the province.
In the agricultural sector, the province has seen the agricultural diversification process taking place just right at the doorsteps. Among them includes; banana plantation, cassava, sugar beans, soya beans, fish farming all done on a commercial basis.
In infrastructure development, the province has received facilities such as schools, hospitals, roads, among others. It has opened the province not only to the nation but transboundary investors who would explore the prospects of investing in the region.
It is no wonder President Lungu and the Patriotic Front have identified the province to be among the places to spend considerable amount of time on his four-day working visit. The efforts that have been initiated require political will for continued progress and sustainability and Lungu Na Luo have demonstrated that ability.
During his first term of office, President Lungu has given the province fair attention and we agree with the provincial Presidential campaign manager, Dr Katele Kalumba, who intimated that the province will give the President resounding victory.
It worth doing so as they will be giving the President a performance-based contract.
MARVIN CHANDA MBERI,