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•	Road Development Agency (RDA) Director and Chief Executive Officer Eng. Elias Mwape (third from left), China State Construction Engineering Limited Managing Director Feng Weibo (immediate Right) and China Railway Seventh Group Zambia Limited Managing Director Li Songquan (immediate left) during the signing ceremony

The Road Development Agency (RDA) has signed two contracts for the rehabilitation of the Great North Road from Chinsali to Nakonde in Muchinga Province.
Lot 1, from Chinsali to Isoka, a 103 kilometre stretch has been awarded to China State Construction Engineering Limited at a contract sum of K 785, 773, 382. 49 and Lot 2, with a stretch of 107 from Isoka to Nakonde has been awarded to China Railway Seventh Group Co. Zambia Limited at a contract sum of K713, 866, 768.53.
Lot 2 also includes the urban section of the road to the border with Tanzania.
The project will be financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) which is contributing US$193 million, Africa Growing Together Fund US$ 50 million and US$12. 76 million from the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ).
RDA Director and Chief Executive Officer Eng. Elias Mwape said during the signing ceremony that the rehabilitation of the Chinsali - Nakonde Road would be executed within 40 months.
“The scope of works includes but not limited to clearing and grubbing, earthworks, bituminous surfacing related works; and road signage and ancillary works. The road carriageway will be widened from the current 6.1 metres to 7.0 metres and will include a hard shoulder of 2.0 metres wide in order to enhance safety,” Eng. Mwape said.
In addition to the main civil works, the entire project also includes several other components such as the rehabilitation of 50 kilometres of feeder roads in Chinsali and Isoka Districts which are currently under procurement, the planting of 10,000 trees along the project road and sinking of 15 boreholes at various locations in the surrounding areas along the corridor.
Other works include technical assistance to RDA and provision of consultancy services for the supervision of civil works and technical audits to foster quality and enhance sustainability and support for the capacity building for women contractors with the objective of empowering women and contribution to developing road maintenance capacity for the sustainability of the road network.
“The rehabilitation of the 210 km Chinsali – Nakonde Road works would encompass the reconstruction of the road under two Lots; Lot 1: Chinsali-Isoka (km 0 – km 103); and Lot 2: Isoka-Nakonde from 103 km – 210 km to be implemented concurrently,” he said.
The RDA CEO stated that the tender was governed by an International Competitive Bidding (ICB) process that culminated into the two best evaluated bidders being awarded the contracts respectively.
He said that a total of thirty-five firms from Europe, Asia and Africa expressed interest in the tender and a total of sixteen firms were prequalified with eleven submitting the bids. 
The Chinsali-Nakonde Road section forms a part of the Great North Road (T2), which is a section of international routes: the Trans-Africa highway and the North South Corridor (NSC).
The North-South Corridor is a joint COMESA/EAC/SADC Aid for trade initiative, and the primary aim is to reduce the transport costs along this priority corridor which links the port of Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania to the Copperbelt, Southern DRC and Northern Zambia and connects to the southern ports of South Africa (Durban) and Mozambique.
The corridor with its spurs, services eight countries in the region-Tanzania, DR Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.
“The project road was constructed to a bitumen surfaced road in the 1970’s and it has progressively deteriorated despite several maintenance interventions.
The poor condition of the road is detrimental to the movement of goods, services and people and a major intervention has been deemed necessary to ensure that this critical route does not present a transit bottleneck for trade in the region”, Eng. Mwape said.
China State Construction Engineering (CSCEC) Limited Managing Director Feng Weibo said his company was ranked number 23 in the global fortune 500 in 2018 with a turnover of US$ 156 billion.
He said by the end of 2017, CSCEC had completed more than 5000 projects in 120 countries. 
“We will devote all our experiences and resources to fulfill this project, in carrying out the construction with scientific planning, careful organization and solid work. We will take all necessary measures to improve the living standards and protect the environment as well,” he said.
Meanwhile China Railway Seventh Group Zambia Limited Managing Director Li Songquan said that the company had been in the infrastructure industry in Zambia since 2005 and had completed several road and bridge projects.
He assured the nation of full commitment towards successful completion of the project and fulfilment of all contractual obligations during the course of the project.
He pledged that China Railway Seventh Group Zambia Limited would deliver a satisfactory project and would complete within the contract period.

Eng. Mwape exchanges contract documents with Mr. Feng Weibo after signing the contract for Lot 1.


Eng. Mwape with Mr. Li Songquan after signing of the contract for Lot 2.