THE Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Burundi to facilitate funding for the rehabilitation of the Mpulungu Harbour.
Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga said the agreement would enable them to access resources from the European Union for the rehabilitation of the Mpulungu port.
In an interview in Lusaka, Mr Mukanga said the revival of the port was important to Zambia because it would contribute to increased trade among countries in the Great Lakes region.
Mr Mukanga said the agreement with Burundi signified Government’s commitment to the development of the Mpulungu port as it was a gateway to international trade.
“We have signed an agreement with the government of Burundi to enable us get access to the European funding so that we can rehabilitate the Mpulungu harbour on both sides from the Burundi side and our side.
“This was part of the condition from the European Union to sign an agreement with Burundi and we are now just waiting for funding from them before we can begin the rehabilitation works,” he said.
Mr Mukanga said the Government was looking for a potential investor to help Government revamp the port.
Meanwhile, Mr Mukanga said the Government was working at bringing the marine transport services closer to the people of Zambia.
He said to ensure efficient utilisation of water transport across the country, Government would soon commission 12 large water vessels for passenger and cargo on Lake Mweru, Lake Bangweulu and Zambezi River.
“In the water sector we have in the budget, the navigation of the Kafue River from Ndola to Lusaka so we have 12 boats and we have targeted June to have them commissioned on the vario
us water bodies,” he said.