LUSAKA — Zambia on Monday launched a modern airport terminal, which has been built by a Chinese company.
The southern African nation launched the second terminal building at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, which will increase the number of passengers from the current two million to four million per year. The project, financed by the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank), is designed and built by China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation.
The construction works started in 2015. Once completed, the project will also have a hotel, cargo terminal, air traffic control building, rescue and fire station as well as a shopping mall.
Zambian President Edgar Lungu said the project is a testimony of the warm bilateral relations that exist between the two countries.
The Zambian leader said the operationalization of the project was a significant step in the country’s development agenda as the current national transport policy seeks to transform the country into a regional transport and logistics hub.
According to him, the airport is cardinal to the government’s aspiration of modernizing the country’s infrastructure, adding that the country’s national development plan has identified the transport sector and aviation sub-sector as key enablers to the diversification agenda. He underscored the importance of infrastructure for the development of any country.
“Airports front countries to air travelers, as such, they represent nations. This airport will showcase our warm hospitality,” he said.
Li Jie, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, said the commissioning of the modern terminal signifies a time of harvest for the practical cooperation that has existed between the two countries.
He said the modern terminal will help Zambia become an aviation hub in the southern African region because of its advanced facilities. According to him, the modern terminal can improve the country’s aviation infrastructure, enhance connectivity and present a new image of the country.
“It will definitely promote the development of tourism of Zambia by attracting more international tourists,” he said. The Chinese envoy noted that the completion of the facility is another demonstration of the good relations between the two countries, adding that the traditional friendship has been upgraded to a new level in recent years. He added that China will continue to support Zambia in its endeavor to improve people’s lives and social-economic progress.