Work on the Batoka Hydro Power Project which will ensure access to sustainable energy to support the industrialisation drive and construction of the Lions Den Kafue rail line is expected to commence this year while plans to introduce a direct flight between Instanbul and Harare are also in the pipeline.

This was said by Zambian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Emmanuel Tawana Chenda and the Turkish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Hakan Kivanc when they paid separate courtesy calls on Vice President General (Retired) Dr Constantino Chiwenga this morning.

Zimbabwe and Zambia are giving the regional industrialisation drive the priority it deserves as it will result in major economic and technological transformation of the two countries.

Addressing journalists after a closed door meeting with Vice President Chiwenga, Ambassador Chenda said the proximity of the two countries should propel bilateral relations to higher levels.

Work on the proposed Batoka Gorge Hydro-electric Power Station is expected to commence soon.

The project was approved by the two countries in the 1990s and is expected to ease pressure on the Kariba Hydro-electric Power Station mainly during winter seasons, with a projected capacity to generate 2 400 megawatts.

There are also plans to start construction on the 341km railway line connecting Kafue in Zambia and Lion’s Den in Zimbabwe which will be the shortest rail link between the two countries.

Earlier on, Turkish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ambassador Hakan Kivanc also paid a courtesy call on Vice President Chiwenga where various topics including infrastructure development and cooperation in agriculture and tourism sectors were discussed.

Some few years back, Turkey and Zimbabwe signed a draft agreement on Trade and Economic Co-operation which was aimed at strengthening co-operation in various economic fields as well as to establish a Joint Economic Commission for promoting and facilitating trade and economic co-operation between the two countries.