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Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Dora's silent question...

The Transport Minister, Dora Siliya had some interesting things to say on Monday :

Govt is determined- Siliya (ZNBC News 22/01/09) : Communications and Transport Minister, Dora Siliya, has reiterated government's determination to improve the aviation industry in the country. Ms. Siliya says government will continue to rehabilitate facilities at the country's airports to ensure they meet international standards. She says the move will also help to promote tourism in the country as more tourists will be able to visit various attractions in the country. The minister was speaking in Lusaka at a cocktail organised by Kenya Airways. And Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer, Titus Naikuni, said the airline is willing to partner with authorities in Zambia in the promotion of tourism. The Zambian government has indicated that efforts are underway to re-introduce a national airline.

Its no secret GRZ has little pot of money. The silent question that I believe Dora Siliya is asking is that, given the little resources at GRZ's disposal, should it spend it on bailing out Zambia Airways or spend it on airport infrastructure? She has clearly decided that it is better to spend the money on infrastructure and she has my tentative support, if that is indeed what she is thinking. My skeptism is drawn from the poor record of government on infrastructure spend. As discussed under that blog, the problem with GRZ is the random and unplanned spending patterns on infrastructure. In exchange for my support, I hope that she'll develop a better vision for aviation than what we have seen in the past. A previous blog lays out my view of this "better vision". The good news for Dora is that some of the suggested intervention require no money to be spent.


  1. i would say you are trying too much to make sense of the statement.there is nothing about what she is saying but just politics of attending functions as part of the office.something has to be said by the distinguished.

    i for one support infrastructure expenditure as it creates employement and activity but the bennefits are lost.

    we don't yet understand the idea behind infrastructure development.we are killing one bird at a any one time when the opportunity is there for a double take.

    our expenditure by gov. is lost in resources not finding it's way back for spent on these projects ends up in few peoples pockets and gov. is forced to keep re inventing the wheel,for how long?.

    bailing out zambian airways is not gov.s' job am sure management at this company are competent enough to forecast some conditions in the market as well as unprecedented ones.i hope they never banked on being bailed out?

    luboss boy

  2. Besides building infrastructure, one has to remember that it needs to be maintained. In other words, there needs to be planning for acquiring funds for maintenance, which is a constant periodic expenditure. Otherwise the infrastructure will fall to pieces.

  3. it's not about maintaining things thats the problem.

    it's the rate of return that is not achieved to make any expenditure in this area meaningfull.

    luboss boy

  4. Even KQ is having a tough time but the Kenyan government which - unfortunately - runs the airport has done little to help KQ...

    I hope Zambia improves the infrastructure coz that will encourage more airlines to provide services. Any chance that KQ will take a stake in ZA?

    KQ was looking at a stake in Air Tanzania but were edged out by SAA. KQ then bought 49% of Precision Air which has since grown the the #1 airline in Tanzania.


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