ICCFISH TO BE COM­PLETED NEXT YEAR

Observer on Saturday - - News -

Eco­nomic Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Prince Hlan­gusem­phi says the on­go­ing con­struc­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre and Five Star Ho­tel is ex­pected to be com­pleted next year.

The min­is­ter says the ICC is al­most com­plete with some fin­ish­ing touches be­ing done and are look­ing at hav­ing some test events to­wards the end of next year.

“The Five Star Ho­tel is al­ready in progress and en­gi­neers have told us that it’s less com­pli­cated than the ICC and are ex­pect­ing to fin­ish it some­time next year. If we fail, it should be com­pleted with the fin­ish­ing touches and fur­nish­ing done in early 2019.

Fund­ing

“The fund­ing of the project has been through the Ex­port and Im­port Bank of China (Exim) and also funded by gov­ern­ment,” he said.

Prince Hlan­gusem­phi who is the for­mer chair­man of the SADC Coun­cil of Min­is­ters, said the coun­try’s lack of beds was ex­posed dur­ing the past 12 months when host­ing the SADC Sum­mit. “If we strug­gled to ac­com­mo­date del­e­gates from the re­gional mem­ber coun­tries, you won­der how much we will strug­gle for the Africa Union in 2020. This is where this project comes in and we hope it will ad­dress the short­age of beds for years to come,” he said.

When asked if gov­ern­ment had al­ready iden­ti­fied the op­er­a­tor for the ho­tel, the min­is­ter said ne­go­ti­a­tions are still on­go­ing. “No one has been iden­ti­fied yet, but we hope we will con­clude as the project com­ple­tion comes closer,” he said.

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