Sunday, 12 April 2015

Zambia's Dream Of Producing Its First Plane On The Cards

By Paul Shalala
Professor Clive Chirwa

The Copperbelt University (CBU) and the Zambia Airforce (ZAF) are later this month commencing the first ever intake of aeronautical engineers who will study aircraft manufacturing and maintenance and possibly make a plane.

Copperbelt University Dean of the School of Engineering Clive Chirwa  says the first intake will comprise of 22 students who have been drawn from both Zambia and abroad.

Professor Chirwa says following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between ZAF and CBU , the dream of Zambia developing its own plane is now a reality.

"We have a team of 22 students who will commence class on 22 April this year. This is a dream come true. We hope to develop our own plane soon," said Prof Chirwa.

He also disclosed that Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola and Kalulushi Airstrip will be transformed into a school of aviation where both civilian and military pilots will be trained.

Using the latest Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), pilots and aeronautics engineers will be based at the two institutions for their high tech training.

The training of these specialists is expected to boost the country's tourism and aviation sectors.

The ICT sector is also expected to be boosted by the technology to be used and the training of personnel who will be working in this sector.

"We are starting with Bachelors Degree with Honours at the Copperbelt University and will also offer Master of Science and PhD by Research in Aeronautics which is not being offered anywhere in Zambia," he said.

With government’s plan to re-introduce a national airline in the near future, the aviation school may be the missing critical component.

Prof Chirwa is a distinguished academic in the field of Structural Crashworthiness and Impact loading engineering. 

He previously served as Zambia Railways Chief Executive Officer.

"We hope that with time, we will be able to design and build our own plane which can make Zambia proud," he added.


  1. very interesting information, need more in these lines, not just politics. thumbs up

  2. Alvin Malambo Himbayi14 April 2015 at 00:34

    Am proud to be Zambian, coz we have great people