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Alba Iulia
Sunday, April 18, 2021

Mbula lures South African investors

Economy Mbula lures South African investors

Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Leslie Mbula has challenged the South African business community to take advantage of Zambia’s conducive environment and invest in the country.

Mr. Mbula said the recent creation of the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) was testimony that the Zambian government attached great importance to the issue of foreign investment, especially where foreign investors partnered with Zambians to develop the country.

He was speaking when he addressed a Cape Regional Chamber of Commerce (CRCC) business forum at Cape Chamber Conference Hall in Cape Town under the theme ‘Business and Investment Opportunities in Zambia’.

Mr. Mbula said that as part of its effort to lure investors, the Zambian government had put in place many incentives in the various sectors of the economy notably agriculture, mining, tourism, manufacturing and energy.

“Your investment in Zambia will be protected by Law. We are looking forward to a situation where South African investors will partner with Zambians for the benefit of the two friendly countries,” Mr Mbula noted.

And speaking at the same function, Cape Regional Chamber of Commerce President, Dr Gerald Wolman said his organisation had a lot of confidence in the Zambian economy.

Mr Wolman said the fact that Zambia had managed to bring down the exchange rate to about K3, 500 to a US Dollar and reduce inflation rate to a single digit was a testimony to the fact that the government was determined to strengthen its economy.

Dr Wolman has since urged other countries in the SADC region to learn from Zambia’s experience.

Meanwhile, Mr Mbula has appealed to financial institutions and other stakeholders in Zambia to help retirees’ access funds to enable them engage in serious agriculture so that they do not become destitutes after retirement.

Speaking when a nine member Zambian delegation paid a courtesy call on him at his office in Pretoria, Mr Mbula said there were many retirees’ he knew who had acquired pieces of land in various parts of the country who were just dozing at their houses because they did not have any source of income to develop the land.

He said such retirees included former senior civil servants, military officers an parastatal executives who had been able to manage human resource with distinction during their working lives.

The delegation consisted senior personnel from the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), Madison Investment Company Limited, the Netherlands Embassy and Zambia Chamber of Small and Medium Business Association (ZCMBA).

This is contained in a statement released to ZANIS by Second Secretary for Press Philip Chirwa at the Zambian Embassy in South Africa.


  1. The best way to attract foreign investment, is to show good democratic governance. For people to invest, they have to believe that their investment will be safe and not wiped out by mad inflation or criminal governments, like the one next door.The spectre of another Zimbabwe, haunts the whole region.

  2. You’re so right #1. Moreover, we need to engage people who are specialised in luring investment. The people Mr Mbula was talking to are hardcore business men who will only invest in any project for a profit. Such people will not risk their children’s inheretance by pouring it into a project classified under development of a country. The example he gave of the creation of ‘development agency’ scares away these investors. A specialised individual in the art of luring investment would have talked about the specific business opportunities in the economy, demonstrating how profitable these where. For instance, the lack of a well administered credit system is a good investment opportunity in the

  3. And after engaging these business gurus we need to act as zambians, either sell your country if you cannot invest yourself or invest.This govt has tried, I have no other word but praise. I heard a credit info system was being put into place last time I checked by BOZ.Any info???

  4. #2 continued….that if in place would have multiplied effects in finance of projects and acquisition of capital goods. The tiger economies had some bright young people educated in the art of securing investment, and sent them to every corner of the world, securing finance from competitive financial markets for projects that effectively saw these nations exit the third world label. They sent these young lads to firms like toyota, with govet supported investment proposals that demonstrated how toyota could setup in their countries and make a profit. Politicians aren’t cut for such tasks. in a nutshell, we fail to attract serious investment becoz we use people unskilled for the purpose.

  5. Selling of the country can be stopped if our lawyers workup from their slumber and see to it that the condusive environment has a legal system that is just, and protecting the consumer, the local investor and the foregn investor. Parly can be made to effect such a legal system in place. Infact, it’s in place but our lawyers do not seem to be interested in having work. We have heard of unfortunate incidences involving illegal allocations of land and contracts, bad treatment of consumers and environmental abuse, and never here of the legal consequeces of such acts becoz the victims do not know that the law provides for them and the lawyers are sleeping.

  6. Interesting #5. Does the environment these lawyers or law makers in zed not disadvantage them? I mean we are exposed esp. in diaspora and these poor guys have to contend with very rigid govt policy … what do you think? Unless, universities like CBU start relationship with those in countries like malaysia, china, indonesia, etc.So that these young business gurus start learning new ideas and come to implement in the long run.I mean we need to train these forward thinking investment gurus with a wining formula ..

  7. What a sham! Didn’t Shoprite,Furniture Blah blah and many Phony companies originate from SA when the FTJ government invited them to trade in good faith.
    They ended up externalising all the Forex literally during the night.
    Just empower the local business people to rejuvenate our economy.Even SA has a deliberate Black empowerment policy for its disadvantaged citizens.My Foot!!

  8. This guy Mbula is old to start with he’s a retired civil servant what does he know about investment..Now guys tell me the difference between these two scenarios:A school teacher retires gets his benefits starts a business builds a very good structure in Makeni and opens up a supermarket and here comes a Chinese or Lebanese from China or Lebanon comes with money and clothes and starts renting a shop in Kamwala.Now this Chinese if am not mistaken he will get some small tax relief because he is an “investor” while the Zambian gets nothing so whats the difference between the Zambian and the Chinese,aren’t they both investors?

  9. #9 and thats where we have gone wrong.The government should support these people putting up structures not these ugly one the Lebanese put up in Kamwala they should be demolished.To start with why not give tax holiday to this retiree?For as long as we always calling South Africans to invest in Zambia we will forever be exploited look at the workers at Shoprite who calls the shots?Abena LPM are very quiet and yet they know how our people are being treated like slaves in their own country in the name of investment.What we need is an investment center for locals not the one in Lusaka but in all the provinces so people are advised on how to invest money.

  10. #9 and #10, you seem to be one and the same person, but you are quoting #9 as if s/he were a different person.

    Anyhow, your points build a house – I mean they make a lot of sense.

    However, we need both foreign and local investors. Only that, we have to come up with a fair deal for all the two.

  11. When it comes to investment by foreign or local investors, one would assume the newly created CEE must stir the ship. CEE must ensure we have in place regulatory frame-work to addresses ownship, management structure (zambian and foreign) and effective skill transfer when it comes to foregin investors. Moreover within this regulatory framework, CEE must have teeth to implement punitive measures. For long time Zambia has been urging Foreign companies to do this or that to contribute to our economy. We need to move from the urging launguage to compliance by these foreign investors. Nothing in between..either comply or pay penaties.

  12. The cases quoted by Miyoba and Makweti illustrates the need for a coordinated effort to attract foreign investment run by experts.As a country we should first identify where we really need foreign funds and where we don’t.We certainly do not need foreign investors for utuntemba.Like Makweti says a retiree can set up such a venture.But such a venture is too small to provide the multiplied effect we direly need.The retiree might set up his shop but will not have created a market for his business and thus eventually busts or is competed away.We need to set up industry thats both locally and internationally relevant.For example convicing FIAT, to come back to Livingstone will result in ….

  13. ….factory that’s gonna provide employment for a considerable number of people in the tourist capital, giving them enough pruchasing power to be an effective market for the retirees shop. FIAT’s market and existence is global. This will mean more investments in haulage, service industry, stationery, material supply etc, creating more opportunities and wealth for both the locals and the foreigners. The government should also set up an investment fund ideally managed at the ministry of finance that buys shares in foreign companies. Look at countries like Norway and Sweden,…

  14. … these governments own shares in multinational corporations like Walmart, Carrefour and Nestler under funds specifically setup for such. They acquire them through stock brokers on reknowned stock markets. The problem of externalisation is faced by all countries. Legal systems that prevent or make it equitqble can be put in place….in a nutshell I say, it would be nice to have an economy where everything is locally owned, but then that will not result in meaningful development. Well planned and coordinated foreign investment is key in every economy. China is a good example of a country that’s used the kind of model I’m trying to describe. The country has become a hub of multinational manufact

  15. These people are not really thinking in the right lines. How can one invite foreign investors at a time when ZESCO will have trouble generating the needed electricity. I know South Africans are already complaining about ESKOM and some have already relocated there business to India. Why would they leave a country with power problems to go to another country with Power problems. It does not make sense to me.

  16. Moving on. To attract foreign investors, you need to work on the economy first. You need to set up the proper infrastructure, assure there is good governance, assure there is stability amongst the people (meaning people are not hostile) and finally assure that there is an actual growing economy where they can actually make profits. The way i see it, if someone sets up a large retail outlet like shoprite, they have not brought in investment but have rather killed our industries and have increased the number of people joining the unemployment pull. If you want to grow the economy through investment, you have to start with manufacturing.

  17. cont…
    If someone sets up a large retail outlet in the heart of lusaka like shoprite, what happens is more than 80% of the goods will be from South Africa, this will enhance production in South Africa thereby providing more jobs for South Africans. However, in Zambia, citizens will be all the more excited about this new retail outlet and will be deceived into thinking “it is investment” when it is “exploitation”. Let me explain. If a South African firm makes soft drinks, shoprite will import these soft drinks into Zambia, citizens will then buy more of the same SA soft drinks and will ignore the Zambian made soft drinks (depending on quality and price of course). Though yes competition does

  18. cont…
    enhance quality, if its unfair competition, it just means they’ll be a lot of downsizing in the Zambian firm and eventually closing of the business. Though I’m not anti-investors, I am though for the protection of our industries. Some tax cuts will do it for our own local industries but unfortunately, foreign investors get first preference on tax cuts than do local businesses. I do not even know what i’m talkin about anymore. Ok, Its good trying to get SA investors, but set up the infrastructure first and make sure its in manufacturing.

  19. make sure they dont start tying Zambians on trees and feed them to the lions like in SA.

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