Masaiti District; An Investment Destination…..
Masaiti district is one of the key districts being considered as a strategic destination for broadening of the Copperbelt province economy. The provincial administration wants to ride on the gigantic base of natural resources existing in the third largest district in the province.
The district which up until 1997 was part of Ndola district known as Ndola rural together with Mpongwe and Lufwanyama districts is one of the vibrant districts in the province, yarning for investment to improve its economic status and subsequently enhance the living standards of the people.
Over the years, the population of people has been increasing steadily and the demand for services to support their daily living has also been going up. The population in the area depend on farming for their daily survival though it is done on a small scale basis.
The need to expand the local economy to a level which will sustainably support livelihoods in the district is inevitable. And to achieve this, the district is aiming at facilitating the utilisation of other investment resources besides the traditional farming so as to be able to generate revenues to finance services.
In essence, the investments must create employment and business opportunities in identified potential sectors in the district. These efforts to diversify the regional economy through CIEX forum is against the backdrop of exploring other available natural resources and expand on their potentials to create opportunities for sustainable economic growth through the promotion of value addition to these resources.
This is the more reason Masaiti district is in the limelight at the forthcoming June Copperbelt Investment Exposition.
The district has therefore opened its frontiers for exploration of opportunities in economic sectors such as agriculture, tourism, livestock development and industrial minerals development as it is one of the bankable investment potentials.
The package in Masaiti require local and foreign investments to establish agro processing industries in senior chief Mushili’s area to add value to horticulture and floriculture products, tobacco, cotton and livestock products.
The construction of the $ 449 million Kafulafuta dam by government is another boost to investment opportunities lying in the agricultural sector. The local authority has taken advantage of this development to demarcate 65 hectares of land around the dam to create more opportunities in the agriculture sector.
In the tourism sector, Masaiti district possess a natural sunken lake, Chilengwa which is a tourism site that is calling for investment in infrastructure and hospitality facilities around it. The site is within a radius of 16 kilometers from the central business district and Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe international airport in Ndola.
The most lucrative investment potential is in the industrial minerals development. The district is richly endowed with the largest limestone deposits in the country. Two major companies, Dangote and Lafarge are currently operating in the district as investors in cement production.
As demand for infrastructure in the country and beyond is increasing so is the cement usage. Lime as a mineral has huge investment potential if harnessed well through appropiate investment in plant development
The mining sector is the major consumer of industrial lime and further investment in this industry will definitely create competition on the market and support economic growth which is necessary for poverty alleviation on the Copperbelt.
More investment is needed in this sector to fully reach the apex of economic impact in the district. Also, investing in industrial mineral plants development is important, it entails that job and business opportunities are assured for the people.
The comparative advantage here is the market space which covers the SADC region. About 103 hectares of land is reserved for a commercial industrial park to drive this development in Chiwala industrial area just 10 kilometers from Ndola town and 35 kilometers from Masaiti central business district.
Additionally Masaiti district is looking for good transportation infrastructure to support this particular sector, thus seeking investment that will develop a dry port and a storage facility along the Kabwe Ndola road.
The dry port will facilitate the need for other service facilities such as lodges to be constructed. On one hand the storage facility will be an auxiliary investment targeting the agro processing industry
District planner Elizabeth Mwila, explained that five hectares of prime land out of the 3000 hectares alienated in Chakunte area is available to investors in the sector.
“We want to ensure we create localised opportunities for the people in a way that will promote circulation and retaining of money in Masaiti,” Ms Mwila elaborated.
The socio economic environment for achieving this vision to create wealth, reduce poverty levels and job creation has been set by Copperbelt Investment exposition forum. The forum objectives are in tandem with the aspirations of the seventh national development plan to promote industrialisation through the diversification of the economy.
And to ensure this is attained government has through various projects in the province provided infrastructure to amalgamate the provision of services to the people. These projects are antidotes to facilitate sustainable economic growth that will ultimately improve the quality of life and increase incomes for the people in province.
Having CIEX as a forum for a district like Masaiti is opening a pandora box for opportunities which for a long time were suffocated by challenges such as poor road network infrastructure, electricity supply and water supply among other services.
Thankfully these have been and are being addressed by government. All viable sites in Masaiti well serviced while the local authority is pledging investment incentives to potential investors.
Investment is an instrument for consolidating and strengthening of economic development process in Masaiti. Be part of CIEX in June from 24 to 29, 2019 at levy Mwanawasa stadium.
Please sign up at www.cbt.gov.zm/expo