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    LUSAKA, July 6 (Xinhua) — Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has called for public-private partnership to expediently develop infrastructure of his country, according to Sunday mail.

    In a speech read on his behalf on Saturday in Ndola, the capital of Copperbelt province, the president said in the past the private sector was key in infrastructure development and that this could be done again.

    Speech was read at the opening of 44th Zambia International Trade Fair in the city. The president said that for instance the main railway line running from Living stone in southern Zambia to Copperbelt was not developed by the government but by the private sector just over 100 years ago.

    He said the government was looking for partners to develop dry ports and air cargo hubs in the country.

    The president said previously Zambia had a problem of being a landlocked country but now the country was taking advantage of its location in the middle of the sub-continent to be the center of all trade routes in the region.

    “For many years to come, the cheapest route from the eastern to the western coast of this part of Africa and vice-versa is potentially via Zambia especially once we have been connected to Angola. This is why we are looking for partners to develop inland and dry ports as well as air cargo hubs,” he said.

    The president said the infrastructure needs of the country cannot be satisfied by the government alone and the government had provided a framework for the private sector to participate in the provision of infrastructure.

Editor: Pliny Han