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COWI Zambia has recently won two major water contracts financed by Danida. During the next year, it will establish the infrastructure that will allow the inhabitants of a number of provinces in Zambia access to clean drinking water and a sustainable water supply. These contracts will provide permanent jobs for 15-20 international and local consultants in the years to come.
But these are not the only jobs secured by COWI's subsidiary COWI Zambia. Since being set up 18 months ago, the African office has been awarded a significant number of projects within a wide range of fields: natural resource management, urban development, legislation, water, energy, building, aid for refugees, donor coordination and road construction. These projects are undertaken on behalf of, among others, Danida, its Swedish counterpart SIDA, the UK's Department for International Development, the United Nations (UN), the Development Cooperation of Ireland, the Zambian Ministry of Finance, and the Zambian Wildlife Authority.
"We hit the ground running and settled in quickly so we were able to gain a firm foothold," says Jacob Ulrich, Managing Director of COWI Zambia Limited. "Our wide range of assignments gives us a broad basis for a long-term presence in the country. They also provide an indication that there is every possibility that COWI has a future in Africa."
Ulrich points out that one of the reasons for the quick start was the formulation of the Joint Assistance Strategy for Zambia, which COWI Zambia was instrumental in drawing up.This demanded major input in terms of coordination to ensure that, for example, the European Union, the USA, the UN, the World Bank and other donors, together with ministries in Zambia could reach agreement on the collective distribution of labour.The office in Zambia currently has a staff of four, which works closely with its counterparts in COWI Tanzania and COWI Uganda, as well as Head Office in Denmark, to exchange ideas, systems and, increasingly, personnel. More consultants will be appointed as soon as possible with remits to include the clean water projects.By Christina TækkerPublished: 21.07. 2006