They take on Sudan in Bata on Saturday trying to put the distraction of midfielder Clifford Mulenga's expulsion from the camp for allegedly breaking curfew out of their thoughts.
Renard's men arguably go into the match as favourites but the Frenchman is wary of the threat posed by Sudan, who finished runners-up in Group B with a squad made up of home-based players.
The dream for Zambia is to triumph in the final in Libreville, Gabon, a week on Sunday. At present the city is most associated in Zambia with one of the country's most tragic events, when a plane carrying the Zambian national side refuelled there before crashing into the Atlantic Ocean in 1993, killing all 30 people on board.
Renard said in quotes reported by caf-online.com: "Imagine if we could lift the trophy there - it would be a fantastic way to honour the memories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the land they loved."
Renard's main injury concerns are defender Kampamba Chintu, who was unable to train earlier this week, and goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, who has a ligament problem.
Sudan have progressed past the group stage for the first time since 1970, when they went on to win the tournament on home soil.
Ahmed Bashir, quoted in the Zambia Daily Mail, said: "It is an unbelievable feeling to break a record that existed for so long a time. I'm very proud of that achievement and this is just the beginning of good things to come."
Bashir scored the Jediane Falcons' first Nations Cup finals goal for 36 years at this tournament, and added: "We were motivated by the fact we could do more after breaking the goal jinx.
"We were determined to achieve it and it's a dream come true for the team and all Sudanese. Now, we want to go as far as we can."
National team coach Mohammed Abdallah told caf-online.com: "Zambia are a fast, well-organised team which has achieved good results here and we must prepare tactically and physically for them."