Government has inaugurated the US$5 million construction of Lafarge Cement’s Mapepe aggregate plant which will see 70 direct jobs created.
The creation of the additional 70 jobs adds up to the 601 jobs that Lafarge Cement has created for local people in Zambia.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda who officiated at the event said Lafarge Cement’s investment in the plant is a true reflection of the confidence the private sector and Lafarge in particular have in the Zambian economy.
Mr. Chenda said in a speech read for him by Commerce Deputy Minister Richwell Siamunene that it was such investments that continue to give renewed confidence to many other multinational companies from Europe and elsewhere to come and invest in the country.
He praised Lafarge Cement for scaling up their investment portfolio in the cement manufacturing sector.
Mr. Chenda however urged players in the cement production industry to adhere to the set quality assurance standards so that Zambia’s cement products can be competitive in the regional markets.
He said government has continued to regulate the standards in the construction sector and hence called on companies like Lafarge to take an active role in promoting quality.
Mr. Chenda said government is committed to creating an enabling, competitive and conducive business environment for the private sector to flourish.
And Lafarge Zambia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Emmanuel Rigaux said his company has continued to focus its investment in Zambia because of the country’s strong economic growth which has been supported by the good investment climate that government provides.
Mr. Rigaux also thanked government for providing a level playing field for economic players in the country.
He disclosed that the Mapepe aggregate plant has the capacity to produce several products and has an installed capacity of 600, 000 tonnes per annum.
Mr. Rigaux said the Plant can also adjust its capacity to enable the company increase its level of supply to the market.
Meanwhile, Chilanga District Commissioner Edith Muwana praised Lafarge Cement for being an effective partner in development.