The Zambia International Trade Fair (ZITF) has submitted a re-development site plan to government estimated at over US $ 20 million that may require some level of foreign financing.
ZITF general manager Alex Mayeya said in an interview that foreign financing could be required to develop infrastructure.
An estimated US $ 20 million to US $ 50 million would be required to modernise infrastructure at the show grounds located on the outskirts of Ndola on the Copperbelt.
Mayeya said that the site plan for the re-development of the trade fair infrastructure had been submitted to government for consideration and approval.
He said due to the massive investment required for modernising infrastructure, there may be a requirement for foreign financing through arrangements such as Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).
“Foreign investors can participate in infrastructure development through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) or equity financing of the Zambia International Trade Fair,” Mayeya said.
The new plan includes exhibition halls, an international convention centre, an office complex, food courts, retail shops, a theme park and an ultra-modern stadium.
ZITF started as a British colonial event in 1956, meaning that the site has some of the oldest structures in Ndola, the country’s industrial hub.
It is justified that infrastructure should be modernised at the trade fair grounds because the combined number of exhibitors has been increasing over the years.
There were a total of 471 foreign and local exhibitors from Zambia and other 17 countries in 2015.
The number of local exhibitors has dropped from 471 in 2015 to 300 this year while the number of foreign exhibitors has increased from 30 in 2015 to 91 this year.
Foreign companies that participated at this year’s trade fair from Africa are Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe.