PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says the construction of a new international convention centre in Samfya District in Luapula Province will help spur development to transform the local economy.
And President Lungu says he loves Luapula Province because the people in that region love him too.
Speaking during the occasion of the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of an international convention centre in Samfya District in Luapula Province, Friday, President Lungu said he wanted his legacy in Luapula to be that of a president who helped transform the province’s economy.
“I am delighted to be here in Samfya District. Samfya is a beautiful district embellished with amazing water bodies that have largely defined people’s way of life. Each time I visit Samfya, I am reminded of the need to do more to areas like this so that we draw businesses, especially tourists, to this part of the country. This is why I am happy that the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board has taken this initiative to invest in the hospitality industry here in Samfya. This is in line with my government’s programme of extending tourism to all parts of the country. My government recognises the need to develop strong social security systems through prudent investment of surplus funds to improve the lives of our people,” President Lungu said.
“Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to witness the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Samfya International Convention Centre, which is a result of the Board’s prudent investment decisions. Government recognises development projects aimed at stimulating the economy, and the best way to do this must be to utilise the natural resource that each province is endowed with. It cannot be disputed that Luapula Province is one province that is blessed with so much water and good climate, yet little in terms of harnessing this resource has been done. I want my legacy here in Luapula to be that of a president who helped transform this province’s economy. I love Luapula Province because you, the people of Luapula, also love me! So, I love you back.”
He said the centre would not only return to local residents the fruits of their labour, but would also attend to their commercial needs.
“Development projects, such as the earmarked Samfya International Convention Centre will not only return to the people the fruits of their labour, but will also attend to their commercial needs. The Samfya International Convention Centre will be a fine example of the transformative power of investments in the northern circuit by a social security scheme. It goes without saying that projects, such as this one, transforms the overall economic landscape and spur prospects for business investment. Hence, such investments call for strategic vision and commitment of the government and its key institutions. I, therefore, wish to celebrate and commend the provincial administration for Luapula, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board for a job well done! Government is optimistic that this investment will speed up the overall pace of economic activity in Samfya District and this will result in tourism activities, business and jobs for our people,” President Lungu said.
“Let me take this opportunity to reiterate my government’s commitment to social security reforms in the country to make them more responsive to workers’ needs at critical stages in their lives. Government looks forward to the implementation of sound investment policies by the Board to support the development of a robust social security system aimed at addressing various challenges affecting our people.”
He added that there was need to market exciting waterfalls in the area.
“It is here in Samfya where you see the great expanse of the gigantic Lake Bangweulu; the scenic Bangweulu Wetlands and its exotic birds and aquatic animals, and not forgetting different species of fish. It is here in Samfya where you experience the warmth of the marvelous Samfya Beach; it is here in Luapula Province where you find the Nchelenge beach, the beautiful shores of Lake Mweru, the Luapula River and its pretty rapids called Mambilima Falls and Mambatuta Falls. Not forgetting the Ntumbachushi Falls and the Chilongo Waterfalls. Unlike the famous mighty Victoria Falls in Livingstone, Southern Province, many of these exciting waterfalls are difficult to access, depriving would-be tourists the opportunity to see them. We, therefore, need to open them up to the public and market them, the way I am doing today,” said President Lungu.
“It is here in Luapula Province where you find the Lunsenga Plain National Park and its restocked wild animals. Luapula also has a variety of ceremonies, among them the famous Umutomboko Ceremony; the Malaila Ceremony; the Musubilwa Mpemba Ceremony; Ubwilile traditional ceremony; Kwanga Cultural Ceremony; Shila Mabila Ceremony and the Chabuka Ceremony. So, investments, such as the development of an international convention centre in Samfya District by the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board will not only revitalise the local economy, but will also mirror government’s aspirations to foster development in Luapula Province.”