By HUMPHREY NKONDE
Zambia will require foreign investors to reduce a shortage of three million housing units.
The Southern African country has a Public Private Partnership (PPP) legislation that investors can ulitise to work on housing projects.
President Edgar Lungu announced recently that Zambia was working on reducing a deficit of three million housing units on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in the United States of America.
Lungu said that Zambia had a shortage of three million housing units and the country was going to open a new chapter in housing construction.
From the time the Patriotic Front (PF) took office in 2011, government has concentrated on road construction.
Back home, President Lungu, who has launched several housing projects for the officers in the Zambia Army, has lamented that people were living in sub-standard houses 50 years after independence from Britain.
Zambia’s President whilst in the United States of America met officials of Landlock Paving Incorporation.
The company that was incorporated in the United States of America has been involved in constructing low-cost houses in several parts of Africa.
Zambia has had no housing projects in many years from the time most of the units were constructed by first President Kenneth Kaunda’s government.
During second President Frederick Chiluba’s government, some of the housing units that were constructed during the British colonial government were sold to sitting tenants.
Some of the major investors in the housing projects have been undertaken by Chinese companies.
Chinese companies have constructed housing units for the Zambia Police and the Zambia Army throughout the country.
Currently there is an agreement between China’s Henan Guoji Construction Group and the Ndola City Council regarding development of a housing US 2 million complex in Ndola on the Copperbelt.
The $2-million housing complex will comprise 1,700 low, medium and high-cost houses coming up to offset the shortage of residential accommodation.
Roy Kuseka, the council’s public relations manager, said in an interview that the local authority will provide the land and Henan Guoji the capital.
One advantage of constructing houses is that if they are offered to public service workers, the country’s public expenditure on housing allowances would be reduced.
Zambia’s fiscal deficits as percentages of the Gross Domestic Product have widened from 1.8 percent in 2011 to 8.1 percent in 2015.