US firm plans a $10 billion investment for Zambia

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A UNITED States-based firm, International Finance Development Corporation (IFDC), plans to inject over US$10 billion in various economic projects in Zambia.

IFDC is looking at funding economic projects such as hydropower, solar energy, railway network and mining that are expected to create jobs during construction and after.

The firm’s communications director for Africa Khalid Mahomedbhai said IFDC is ready to embark on the construction and financing of the state-of-the-art projects in Zambia starting this year.

IFDC is one of the largest financial institutions which and been ranked 20th in the world.

“Finance is not a problem, we are ready to inject more than US$10 billion, it will only depend on the kind of projects Zambian government award to us, we are ready to spend more than that amount,” he said.

Mr Mahomedbhai said this in an interview yesterday that the corporation is having talks on the overhauling of the railway network in Zambia.
“Our talks on upgrading of the railway network have reached an advanced stage, we are aware of the presence of Professor Clive Chirwa who is the managing director of Zambia Railways Limited,” he said.

Mr Mahomedbhai said IFDC is prepared to supply welding equipment for the railway and establish training centre in new technology in the running of the railway system in the country.

Commenting on hydropower projects, Mr Mahomedbhai said the corporation is able to finance, construct modern power stations and hand over to Government within the agreed stipulated time frame.

“After we finance and construct, we hand over to Government who in turn could pay back the loan based on agreed payment arrangement system,” he said.
He pledged to help ease the power deficit the country is experiencing once engaged to be part of other stakeholders interested in the development of the power sector in the country.

Mr Mahomedbhai said the corporation is ready to finance and come up with value additional processing plants for the mining sector.
“The presence of copper mines needs to be supported by the establishment of value addition facilities,” he said.

“There are a lot of raw materials, we have to look around and see what is obtaining in the country.”

And on the gemstone mining sector, IFDC is waiting for a bankable feasibility study from Chumbwe Mining Limited before signing a memorandum of Understanding.

“Only after the bankable study and geographical report are available, we will be able to state the amount that will be involved,” he said.

Mr Mahomedbhai said the project with Chumbwe Mining Limited is expected to create 400 to 600 jobs for the local people.