German Ambassador to Zambia Achim Burkart says bureaucracy remains a key challenge which cooperating partners and the private sector still face in trying to work with the Zambian government.

And Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga has appealed to the private sector to come on board as the Ministry pushes its agenda to develop the Northern Tourism Circuit.

Speaking when he paid a courtesy call at Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga’s office in Lusaka, Wednesday afternoon, the German Envoy observed that while cooperating partners stood ready to invest in developing Zambia’s tourism sector, bureaucracy, which characterized their dealings with the Zambian government, remained problematic.

“If you talk about the private sector, it is not easy for the private sector sometimes. We have a German investor, which is investing in Luangwa National Park; finally, after one and half years, they got the permission to start building the second lodge in that area. They’re still waiting to have a signature done for like 3, 4 months! This kind of backlog might shy away investors,” Ambassador Burkart cautioned.

“For Luangwa, these are, really, very good guys and they’ve proved before with their first investment that they’ve put this national park on the landscape. My wish would be that you would support, more heavily, the private sector in order to facilitate their investment, and then, your goals will be achieved quicker and much easily.”

He noted that the best approach to achieve the needed tourism development in Zambia was to have strong partnerships with strong partners, citing African Parks as possible game managers in the existing national wildlife parks.

“What is very good is your strong partnerships with with strong partners. You (Malupenga) were mentioning Frankfurt Zoological Society; I would also mention African Parks; I think they’re doing a good job. For you, it’s less income, yes, but it’s less expenses also because they’re taking the main care of the security of everything there. So, that is very good,” advised Ambassador Burkart.

Earlier, Malupenga called on the private sector to come on board as the Ministry pushed its agenda to develop the Northern Tourism Circuit.

He observed that the biggest challenge in the quest to the develop the circuit was the lack of tourism infrastructure for people to spend more time when visiting a tourist area.