China and Zambia on Friday signed a framework agreement for construction of communication towers (phase two) in the southern African country.
The agreement involves 808 towers, 1,009 2G, 3G and 4G wireless stations, the setting up of a matched transmission network and user access terminals in unserved and under-served areas in order to improve communication services.
Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming signed on behalf of his government while Fredson Yamba, Secretary to the Treasury, signed on behalf of the Zambian government during a ceremony witnessed by President Edgar Lungu in Lusaka, the country’s capital.
China’s Huawei Technologies has been engaged to construct the towers, with the project expected to take about three years to complete.
The Chinese envoy said the signing of the agreement marks another milestone in the development of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Zambia as the sector was one of the important areas of cooperation under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
The completion of the project will result in an increase in the voice service penetration from 70 percent to almost 100 percent as well as increase in data service penetration from five percent to 40 percent, a move that will result in improved communication conditions for people.
The Chinese envoy added that the completion of the project will lessen inconveniences experienced when using ICTs in the country as well as improve the investment environment of the country.
On his part, the Zambian leader said the launch of the second phase of the construction of communication towers demonstrates his government’s commitment to provide citizens with ICT infrastructure in order to improve communication.
The Zambian leader said the launch of the project was a milestone in the government’s commitment to ensure inclusiveness in the country.
The Zambian leader further said about 2,000 jobs will be created under the project which will also provide connectivity for enterprises as well as enable rural farmers access markets for their products.