29 September 2012

Southern Africa: Link Zambia-8000 Will Boost Tourism U.S Senator

THE Zambian Government's resolve to upgrade 8000 km road network throughout the country will boost tourism and other economic activities in Zambia, visiting Washington Senator Pam Roach has said.

Ms Roach, who has been Washington Senator since 1990, said the upgrading of the road network would be beneficial to the tourism and other sectors of the economy as most roads were currently in poor state.

She was speaking in Livingstone on Thursday afternoon when she paid a courtesy call on Southern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga.

"When you leave Lusaka to visit other parts of Zambia, roads are bumpy hence Government's determination to upgrade the road network will be beneficial to tourists and transporters," she said.

She said most Americans were interested in visiting the Victoria Falls and exploring tourism activities such as walking safaris, canoeing and bungee jumping among others.

Ms Roach said Zambia should set up business and recreation infrastructure on the Lusaka-Livingstone Road so that guests who travelled by road could enjoy their journey.

"When driving from Lusaka to Livingstone, it takes about six hours and yet all you see is empty land off the road.

The road needs business and recreation facilities so that visitors enjoy their journey as they drive," she said.

Lusaka-Livingstone Road connects Zambia to countries such as Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

Ms Roach urged Zambia to consider unveiling something wonderful and memorable in honour of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly next year.

She said after co-hosting the UNWTO general assembly next year, Zambia should have something which would be memorable.

"You can unveil a statue, wonderful view points, parks, museums or anything to commemorate the UNWTO General Assembly," she said.

She praised President Michael Sata's administration for planning to establish more universities in Zambia saying education was key in any economy because it enabled people to acquire appropriate skills for various industries.

"People want their children to be educated so that they have a better living standard," she said.

Ms Roach commended the media in Zambia for reporting on issues of Gender Based Violence (GBV).

Ms Roach, who is on a 10-day private visit to Zambia, said it was incorrect to insinuate that women would not make it in politics.

"I have been a Senator since1990 and I am a mother of five children so it is not true that women can't make it in politics," she said.

Dr Mulenga said the Government was improving the rail and road and airport infrastructure to ensure that Zambia became a hub in Southern Africa.

Dr Mulenga said the main reason Zambia bid for the joint hosting of the UNWTO General Assembly was to market Zambia abroad as no single advertisement could manage to do so.

While in Livingstone yesterday, Ms Roach featured on Zambezi FM radio and met officials at Livingstone City Council.

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