Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, Hon. Eng. Charles L. Milupi says Zambia should develop a good road network for it to register significant economic development.

Hon. Eng. Milupi said that a durable and sustainable road network is an engine to social economic development.

Officially opening the Symposium on the Construction of Concrete Roads in Zambia at Mulungushi International Conference Centre recently in Lusaka, Hon. Eng. Milupi said the Government wanted the symposium to explore the use of concrete in road construction, particularly in terms of reducing the cost of road maintenance.

“Most roads in Zambia are constructed with bituminous surfacing which requires frequent maintenance interventions.

“Further, concrete roads generally perform better and last much longer in some cases up to 50 years than flexible pavements with an average design life of 20 years,” he said.

 “As a government, we remain resolved to ensure that the road network supports our economic agenda as the new administration, especially in the area of job creation,” he said.

The minister noted that the objective of the symposium on concrete road construction is to share views among various stakeholders such as engineers and academicians among others.

He said it is time for the country to shift to concrete road construction which he said is sustainable and does not require constant maintenance.

Hon. Eng. Milupi explained that concrete roads generally perform better and last much longer as compared to bituminous ones.

Hon. Eng. Milupi said the Government had already shown its commitment in driving the agenda towards constructing concrete roads in Zambia by tendering for works on the Kitwe to Chibuluma  (7 Kilometres) road to be constructed in concrete.

He said this was a pilot project that would be used to gain more insight into the design and construction of concrete roads before implementing a full scale programme.

“My expectation from this symposium, is a structured roadmap for rolling out the construction of concrete roads in Zambia. Through this symposium, the challenges and opportunities in the use of concrete must be discussed objectively and inform the roadmap,” he said.

Road Development Agency (RDA) Board Chairman, Eng. Mulchand Kuntawala said the symposium had brought together a cross section of experts to brainstorm on how best to construct concrete roads in Zambia.

RDA Board Chairman, Eng. Mulchand Kuntawala.

Eng. Kuntawala said the RDA was responding to the presidential directive for the country to venture into concrete roads to support the haulage of abnormal loads.

Chilanga Cement commercial Director Chooye Hamusankwa said the firm was ready to take up the challenge because it had the right materials needed for the construction of the roads.

Dangote Cement Country Head Vipul Agrawal said the company was also ready to provide materials for the concrete road projects.

And Bari Zambia Limited Managing Director Elliot Phiri said the firm, which in the past had provided a service towards the construction of the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport was ready to provide multi-disciplinary engineering services.

The theme for the Symposium was “Sustainable Infrastructure Development using Cement and Concrete Technologies.”

RDA acting Director and Chief Executive Officer Eng. Grace Mutembo responding to the questions from the delegates during the symposium

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