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Monday, 24 November 2014

Economic developments (Debt, Aviation, Health)

Some interesting economic news that may have escaped your attention in the middle of the current political excitment! 

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda wants Cabinet to approve a US$100m loan in order to repay another LAP GreenN loan obtained in 2011 to upgrade Zamtel. Chikwanda is apparently seeking $100m from Exim Bank of China to pay ZTE on behalf of LAP GreenN. In June 2010, theLAP GreenN acquired a 75 per cent stake in Zamtel, only to be nationalised in 2012 by PF. (Source : The Post)

Enock Kavindele recently confirmed that North Western Rail (NWR) has mobilised the US$1 billion required for construction of the 590 kilometre line project. The private sector driven project, would commence early next year in two phases, of which phase-one involved construction of a 295 Kilometre line from Chingola to Solwezi to serve the Kansanshi Copper Mine.  (Source: Times of Zambia)

Lagan Group Limited (UK) has allegedly obtained US$150m finance from HSBC UK for the financing of the proposed upgrading of four airports in Luapula Province. The proposed refurbishment of airports is in Mansa, Kashikishi, Samfya and Kawambwa. The firm wants to upgrade and run the four airports, as part of a PPP arrangement with GRZ. The agreement is alleged to be finalied soon. (Source : Times of Zambia)

The University Teaching Hospital (UTH) recently hiked user fees by up to 200% for both its premium (high cost) and standard (low cost) schemes. UTH says, “the cost of goods and services, including food, fuel and cleaning services, have been increased over the years, affecting our operations”. Many patients struggle to continue to pay for even standard blood test has increased from K10 to K30. (Source: Daily Mail)

Ministry of Health says the construction of 650 health posts countrywide has reached an advanced stage. According to PS Chikamata, GRZ is on course to meet the deadline of 2016 to complete the construction of 650 health posts. The prefabricated structures will arrive in January from India. The three Indian contractors have already done the slabs on the Copperbelt, Luapula, Eastern and Western provinces. (Source : Times of Zambia)

Chola Mukanga 
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2014

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