Works at the new Kenneth Kaunda International Airport terminal which is scheduled to be launched in October 2019 have impressed Transport and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba and his colleagues in Cabinet.

Speaking during a KKIA multi-sectorial tour, Monday, Mushimba said the new terminal would have a four million passenger capacity per year.

“What we have seen here is pleasing; the development is also at a pace that is comfortable for us. We are also putting all the necessary facilitation so that it becomes a reality. It starts talking to a larger picture that we have been talking about as a government. We have been talking about transition in Zambia into a transport and communication hub as a ministry that’s the vision that we carry. As the PF government of His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, that is what we believe in and we are putting in all the necessary facilitation so that it becomes a reality. When you see what we have seen today, the new terminal that is going to have four million per year passenger capacity, an existing terminal that has two million passenger capacities that is going to be upgraded is also part of this project,” Mushimba said.

Mushimba said once operationalized, the new facility would make Zambia a destination of choice.

“The challenge that I pose to my team when we were having the internal meeting was that we further challenge ourselves on transitioning the country to be a transport and communications hub through what does it totally mean to become a transport and communications hub? The completeness of the packaging of the country is not just the infrastructure that you see here, it’s also the inter model transport that we need to speak to, the railway that needs to come into the airport so that it can carry cargo from the airport. The strategic provincial airports, we need to develop to make sure that Zambia airways starts flying, it can fly into all these airports and pick people. The immigration reform that we need to have, so that there is flawless facilitation of people coming in and leaving. And all these things that make us becoming a destination of choice, we need to think through and make sure they are provided for,” said Mushimba.

Meanwhile, Housing and Infrastructure Developmeent Minister Ronald Chitotela said the works were 70 per cent completed.

“We are talking about the multi-sectorial approach and this is a clear demonstration that we work as a team. When we talk about trade, we will not have meaningful trade without developing our infrastructure, we will not have the meaningful tourism that we talk about, so we need to apply our money where it requires first because infrastructure development is a pre-caser for any economic development. so this is a clear demonstration that the US$360 million that we are investing in this infrastructure is there to benefit every Zambia citizen…We are talking about the transportation system and I am happy to say the contractor has indicated that the project is going to run up to 2019 October. The overall project is almost at 60- 70 percent. So if you calculate, they are saying that they will be able to hand over this project to government six months ahead of schedule,” said Chitotela.

Other ministers who were present include Commerce Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe, Lusaka province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe, Water Development and Sanitation Minister Lloyd Kaziya, and Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo among other government officials.