Zambia eye 2010 cake
The government, realising the benefits to be accrued from its proximity to South Africa, has partnered with China to construct three ultra-modern stadia in Zambia ahead of the tournament. It is envisaged that some of the countries to participate in the prestigious event could use the new facilities in getting ready for the tournament.
Ministry of Sports and Child Development permanent secretary Bob Samakai said a delegation from a Chinese consortium, Beijing Construction Company, recently visited Zambia to assess the sites proposed for the construction of the stadia. Three ultra-modern stadia would be constructed in Livingstone in Southern Zambia, Ndola on the Copperbelt, and in the capital, Lusaka.
The government has already given a proposal to the Beijing Consortium Company for scrutiny and determination of costs.
“The consortium, a group of three companies, has shown willingness to help us build the three stadia,” Samakai said of the Chinese firm, which is currently constructing an ultra-modern stadium in Tanzania and has been recommended by the construction industry in Tanzania, China and abroad.
The construction of the structures would further boost Zambia’s hosting of the All Africa Games in 2011.
Zambia suffered a setback in 1986 when it razed its only modern stadium, Dag Hammarskj’ld in Ndola (named after the then United Nations secretary-general who died in a plane crash in Ndola while on a peace mission to neighbouring Congo in the 1960s), in anticipation of the construction of a brand-new stadium at the same site. This has, however, never happened.
The 42-year-old Independence Stadium in Lusaka has been rejected and labelled a health and security hazard by construction and environmental experts, since the structure has suffered from a lack of proper maintenance since the commemoration of Zambia’s independence in 1964.