ZAMBIA's sole power utility company, Zesco, has indicated that it is ready to support Government's initiatives to expedite the establishment of industrial clusters throughhout the country's rural areas.
Zesco managing director Cyprian Chitundu said his company would embark on the provision of the necessary power supply to designated industrial cluster areas which will also help to attract more investments mainly from the private sector.
Mr Chitundu said the utility firm would work in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry as well as the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, in the creation and provision of power to industries in the earmarked areas.
Zesco's plans to extend power to the industrial clusters were already on the drawing board and just awaiting a go-ahead from Government.
"The issue of the Rural Industrialisation Strategy is the matter that is close to Government's intentions and Zesco is very focused on rural industrialisation," Mr Chitundu said.
He said: "The Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs is talking about one chiefdom with three industries and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is talking about industrial clusters in the villages and it is going to be a consolidated programme between ZESCO and the two other stakeholders so that they can work as a team."
Zesco would move in once the Government identified the site where the industrial clusters would be built and after the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs identified the key industries in each chiefdom.
Establishment of industrial clusters was aimed at strengthening the Rural Industrialisation Strategy which will lay a firm foundation for value addition to various products including agro produce.
Government anticipates that the success of the project, will create thousands of skilled and semi-skilled jobs to the rural population and would have a positive impact on the country's economic status.