The mining sector is the biggest contributor to Zambia's gross domestic product (GDP) and yet, the country lacks the relevant infrastructure to mine, process, and transport the minerals. Acknowledging the need to improve the relevant infrastructure, the government has started investing significantly in the road, rail, airport, energy and power, telecommunication, water, and social infrastructure in the country.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (environmental.frost.com), African Infrastructure Tracker - Zambia's Infrastructure Sectors, finds that Zambia is expected to receive investments of approximately $13.23 billion for its infrastructure development projects from 2011 to 2015.
The bulk of the capital will be earmarked for expanding and upgrading the country's hydropower plants to meet the escalating energy demand, particularly from the mining sector.
"The energy and power sector recently received a large capital injection of approximately $7.08 billion to increase the country's generating capacity by and estimated 4,240.0 MW," said Frost & Sullivan's Energy & Environmental Research Analyst Derrick Chikanga. "As approximately 95.5 per cent of the country's plants are hydro-based, all the projects will involve hydro power plants."
Another sector that is experiencing rapid activity is water and wastewater. The high rate of urbanisation and the poor state of most water and wastewater infrastructure is anticipated to attract substantial funds from various sources. This rise in investment across the country is, in turn, likely to aid the development of its transportation infrastructure.
Zambia's central location makes it a key transit country that can facilitate the movement of goods and services within the region. The increased volume of goods transported along the north-south corridor has compelled Zambia to expand its current road and rail networks. The increased production of mineral and copper ore in the Copperbelt region has further impelled the country to diversify its rail network.
Zambia's transportation sector traditionally receives limited infrastructure funding, but for the period between 2011 and 2015, the government commissioned various road construction and rehabilitation projects at a cost of $4.83 billion.
"Approximately 73.2 per cent of the total budgeted expenditure will be financed by the government, while the remaining 26.8 per cent will be from donor organisations," noted Chikanga. "Evidently, the government remains the main source of funding for all infrastructure projects, despite budget constraints."
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African Infrastructure Tracker - Zambia's Infrastructure Sectors / M7D1-15