ZANIS—Ehad Innovation and Infrastructure, a Zambian-owned company, is aiming to secure 1.3 billion United States Dollars to invest in key sectors of the economy in Muchinga Province. Ehad Chief Executive Officer Dennis Bwalya disclosed this last night in Mpika ahead of the hosting of the Meet the Minister Fundraising Dinner at Crumach Lodge. Mr Bwalya said Ehad is working in collaboration with MC Group, a Zambian Company based in South Africa, to raise the financing and bring partners on the projects that will include agriculture, infrastructure, energy and mining. Mr Bwalya said that about US$ 800 million will be invested in solar and wind energy projects while US$ 500 million will go towards agriculture projects in rice, wheat, soya and sugar projects to be dotted in selected districts of the province. He also mentioned that the agriculture projects are going to support out-grower schemes, with Ehad and its partners providing technology and machinery to improve agriculture productivity among small-scale farmers.

The Ehad Director added that the company is interested in bringing meaningful development into Muchinga hence its support for all the preparations for hosting the Muchinga Investment Forum and Expo. “We have signed an MoU with Muchinga administration, and we have taken up the centre stage in making sure that we bringing, not just investment but meaningful investment which is locally driven, succeeds,” Mr Bwalya said. He further mentioned that the company will add a total of 600 megawatts of solar and wind-powered energy to the national grid over a period of time, with projects being built in different places of the province. “We talking about 700 to 800 million United States Dollars of investment. And agriculture we are actually bringing in an investment close to 500 million dollars,” he said.

He noted that the agriculture investment will not just be for commercial purposes, but also encompass existing farmers who are doing it at small scale. “We want to escalate that so that they become part of this new way of doing things, bringing in technology, machinery so that their yields are improved,” Mr Bwalya said. He further mentioned that the company will not take away land from local people, but start by taking off the produce of local farmers and helping them to improve their yields. Mr Bwalya disclosed that Ehad will embark on the proposed investments ahead of the Muchinga Province hosting its investment forum and expo in October this year, as it has already started engaging relevant stakeholders to begin the project. “We don’t want to start point at these projects we are bringing, not after the expo but before the expo so that people can see what exactly we talking about.

And speaking during the Meet the Minister Fundraising Dinner, Muchinga Province Minister Henry Sikazwe said Muchinga is not going to be the same after the Expo. He called upon the business community and other stakeholders to continue supporting the hosting of the Muchinga expo with resources for it to be successful. The Muchinga Investment Forum and Expo will be held from 3rd to 8th October this year in Chinsali District.