Recently, H.E. Mr. Du Xiaohui, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, published an article entitled "Inspirations From The Kafue Gorge Lower Hydropower Project" on local mainstream media such as Times of Zambia, Daily Mail, Daily Nation and Mast. The full text is as follows:
On July 21, His Excellency President Mr. Hakainde Hichilema visited the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydropower Project (KGL). As a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative between China and Zambia, KGL is the largest infrastructure construction project in Zambia for the past 40 years. It is also a key project constructed by a Chinese company, Sino Hydro, using Chinese technology. KGL has a total installed capacity of 750MW with five generators and three 330KV transmission lines, which can promote the green and sustainable development of Zambia's economy by effectively utilizing the abundant hydropower resource of the Kafue River. Chinese and Zambian Constructors of KGL have overcome miscellaneous difficulties, especially the impact of COVID-19 and debt problem. Now, 4 generators have been in operation and Unit 5 is also under active installation.
The success of the KGL marks "three sustainabilities".
The first is sustainability of debt. KGL was born out of the friendly cooperation between China and Zambia, and the efforts of both sides to put into production creating considerable income out of power generation ensure that the construction continues without being affected by debt. On the other hand, the project also provides a model for bilateral friendly consultation to solve the debt problem.
The second is sustainability of development. Once the project is completed, KGL will increase the total installed capacity of power generation in Zambia by 38%, which will make this project the most powerful engine for the Zambian economy, help Zambia to be a net exporter of electricity, and lay a solid foundation for value-addition in Zambia's mining, agriculture, and manufacturing.
The third is sustainability of environment. After the establishment of KGL, it is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 663,500 tons per year, which will contribute to green development of Zambia's economy and help Zambia cope with climate change. In the context of energy crisis, it is also an important security measure for Zambia.
In the face of challenges worldwide such as the weak recovery of the world economy, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and Ukraine crisis, KGL fully reflects the new characteristics of traditional friendship between China and Zambia, which is "all-weather, all-dimensional, high-quality". Recently, His Excellency President Mr. Xi Jinping and His Excellency President Mr. Hakainde Hichilema had a very successful phone conversation. The two heads of state reached a number of consensuses, providing the top-level design for further deepening and consolidating China-Zambia friendship and enhancing mutual beneficial cooperation. The relevant departments of China and Zambia are making effort to implement consensuses of the conversation, which is reflected in the "four supports".
First, we support the Zambian goverment's plan to produce 3 million tons of copper annually within ten years. For this, mining, electricity, transportation, and consumer market are needed. Relevant Chinese companies are willing to further expand their investment in Zambia's mining industry and have the ability and willingness for new energy solutions like "pumped storage+solar", with less investment and taking advantage of season difference in Zambia. China and Zambia are also discussing the reactivating of TAZARA. China is the largest market in this century and is willing to support Zambia development goals in terms of development of the whole industry chain and supply chain.
Second, we support the Zambian side to solve debt problems. KGL is a typical case in this regard. Chinese constructors are dedicated to building a monument with passion and sacrifice, which demonstrates that debt will not hinder China-Zambia cooperation. Also, in the first and second meetings of the Creditor Committee for Zambia under the Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI, the Chinese co-chair actively played the leading role and promoted the formation of the common position.
Third, we support the agricultural development of Zambia. Recently, China proposed the initiative of the International Cooperation on Global Food Security to advocate helping developing countries enhance their capacity for food production, storage, and loss reduction in terms of capital, technology, market and so on. During the visit to KGL, His Excellency the President witnessed the signing of two protocols for the export of stevia and soybean meal to China. China will actively implement the initiative and take the signing of two protocols as an opportunity to continue to strengthen cooperation with Zambia in the field of agriculture, and jointly promote food security in Africa.
Fourth, we support Zambia's capacity building. During the construction of KGL, Sino Hydro established the Training Institute, which provided free education and training for the Zambian residents, and has delivered a total of 332 skilled talents to other construction projects here in Zambia. China will continue to assist Zambia's capacity building through short-term training and degree training.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. The most important inspiration of KGL is that as long as we work together, the traditional friendship between China and Zambia will surely create a better life for our two peoples in the new era.