The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Mpulungu Harbor Corporation Limited and EleQtra will help grow the economic and bring about diversification and job creation in the Northern region, says Maximo Mutambo Sinkonde, Socialist Party Zambia Parliamentary candidate for Senga hill Constituency
Mr. Sinkonde said such agreements are a breath of fresh air to the Northern Province as Zambia joins the rest of the world in trying to keep its economy afloat and survive the harsh effects of COVID-19.
In an interview, Mr. Sinkonde said MHCL’s agreement with EleQtra must be supported as it promises to facilitating some upgrade of the core infrastructure and facilities at Mpulungu Harbor into a fourth-generation port with state-of-the-art shipping services.
“Yes, much as this move supporting Government’s aspirations to accelerate socio-economic growth, for our people, it is about the benefits such as diversification and creation of employment which contributes to our ideals as a Socialist Party of a just, fair, equal, a more fair and human distribution of the nation’s wealth.”
Mpulungu port is situated on the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika, in the Northern Province of Zambia. The port was built in 1930 and was operated as a fishing berth before Zambia gained its independence. Post-independence, the port was used mainly as an alternative storage facility for fuel imported through East Africa and supplied to the Northern part of Zambia.
In 1977, the port started handling exports to the Great Lakes Region. The port is managed by Mpulungu Harbor Corporation Ltd, a company registered in 1988 and wholly owned by the government of the Republic of Zambia.
EleQtra is a global large infrastructure developer and investment firm that has been developing marine transport projects in West and East Africa for over 10 years.
Trade flows between Zambia and the Great Lakes Region made up of Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Kenya, Sudan and Zambia are constrained by inadequate shipping capacity.
Mr. Sinkonde said the presence of reliable shipping services in Zambia will change the status quo and deliver economic benefits to Zambians, including job creation.
“Our people will need to appreciate the accrued benefits of this agreement and our hope is that the agreement must lead to greater investment in production, processing and trade activities around Mpulungu which has a spill-over effects to other parts of province such as Senga Hill,” said Sinkonde