Zambia needs an investment of nearly $500m over the next five years to revamp its road infrastructure, according to the country’s works and supply minister.

This follows the Zambian Highway Management System Needs Assessment Report in 2009, which projected this budget for the complete maintenance and restoration of all roads.

The report has identified the main works as upgrading, periodic routing maintenance, rehabilitation, consultancy services and capacity building, according to

Works and Supply Minister Mike Mulongoti said $500m would enable Zambia to maintain and restore all roads from a poor to a good or fair condition. He added that the strategy was to focus on ongoing road projects and see them through to completion.

Major roads earmarked include Zimba to Livingstone, Luanshya to Mpongwe, Chipata’s urban roads, Kasama Luwingu and Choma – Chitongo road.

The Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Hanson Sindowe said the lack of infrastructure in Zambia was constraining the country’s economic growth.

The country’s budget deficit for the road overhaul works currently stands at ZMK153 billion ($32.5m).