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Tuesday, Feb 19th

Zambia secures $65m fund from China

Zambia secures m fund from China for tower project.

The Zambian government has secured $65 million from China to initiate and fund the second phase of the national mobile phone tower construction project.

The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) plans to launch the nationwide construction of mobile phone communication towers, aimed at easing communication problems in the country - especially in rural areas.

The towers will be used by MTN, Zamtel and Airtel, the three mobile phone service providers currently operating in the country. The operators will also be responsible for maintaining and servicing the towers once they are operational and handed over to ZICTA.

Zambia's president Edgar Lungu secured the multi-million Dollar loan during his visit to China last week during which he also had a meeting with Huawei Technologies and ZTE.

Once implemented, the Zambian government believes the communication tower project will address issues with telephone connectivity being experienced in the country, particularly in rural communities.

Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda said, "through the towers, the Zambian government wants to make sure that everyone has access to mobile phone communication in the country."

The Zambian government, via ZICTA, is already constructing 169 communication towers in selected rural areas in the first phase of the project. Last year Huawei Technologies was awarded the contract to erect the towers as part of this phase.

The telecommunications company has been accused of erecting towers that do not adhere to technical specifications because they cover a radius of less than 5km, a minimum requirement as per specifications contained in the bid document.

ZICTA said last month that it was aware of the irregularity and promised it would be corrected under phase two of the project.

With the funds from China, authorities are aiming to connect the whole country to mobile phone communication.

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