Sunday, March 3, 2024

Lets use our resouces for wealth creation-Sierra Leon Minister

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AGOA Forum delegates watching  a short documentary on Zambia
AGOA Forum delegates watching a short documentary on Zambia

Sierra Leon Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Mabinty Daramy says there is need for African countries work together to fully utilize the continents vast natural resources for wealth creation and poverty alleviation.

Ms Daramy says it is regrettable that Africa has failed to fully utilize the vast agricultural land available which she said averages over 600 million hectarage, saying only 15 percent of this land is used for agriculture production.

She said this in an interview with ZANIS shortly upon arrival in the country to attend the 10th Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum been hosted by Zambia at Mulunguish Internation Conference Centre in Lusaka.

And Mali Minister of Agriculture Aghatam Alhassane urged African countries to vigorously lobby their American counterparts during the AGOA forum to invest in Africa in order to add value to African products to meet the requirements of US market.

Meanwhile, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Felix Mutati has said Zambia and Africa as a whole will have no excuse for not exporting value additional products to the United States.

Mr. Mutati said the fact that the American Government has opened up to Africa should provide an impetus for African countries to supply and trade with the United States by supplying quality and certified products.

In his welcome address, shortly before President Rupiah Banda officially opened the two-day 10th Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum at Mulungushi International Conference Centre, he said the initiative was an investment of partnership between the US and Africa and not an investment of patronage.

ZANIS reports that the Minister reiterated President Banda’s remarks that progress in Africa would be registered if all stakeholders were dedicated to work as a united front and underscored that the role of Governments was to facilitate while the responsibility of business was to take AGOA forward. “There will be no reason for Africa to give when trading now that the US government has opened up to trade with it.

The official launch of 10th AGOA Forum for Zambia to host by President Rupiah Banda should provide a platform for Africa to share, exchange and learn from US entrepreneurs,” Mr.Mutati said. He further commended the Private sector, Civil Society and stakeholders from Zambia for their commitment and involvement in AGOA preparations, their voice of reason and carrying the message that Africa was open and ready for business respectively.

The Minister emphasised that the Forum’s role was not to engage in focusing on the negatives but to ensure that the initiative was taken to a higher level. He also paid tribute to President Banda for his dedication towards hosting AGOA Forum and his vision that Africa’s future solely depended on the Africans themselves.

The forum whose theme is ‘’Enhanced Trade Through Increased Competitiveness, Value Addition and Deeper Regional Integration,’’ has attracted over 3 000 delegates and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to officially close the high level meeting.

ZANIS

2 COMMENTS

  1. 3000 delegates!! Great opportunity for Zambia. Let’s hope the Zambian government has been able to showcase Zambia as an attractive investment destination by hosting the conference professionally. Please let’s not hear of the embarrassing stories of the past when lizards caused power failures during international conferences. I at the end of the day nother gwe can do now to redeeem us from the embarrassement of or Lusaka ‘international’ airport. First impressions are last…

  2. Ba Mutati as Commerce Minister what have you done to promote value addition or manufacturing in Zambia? Why has Zambia got the highest corporate taxes @ 35% on manufacturing sector in both SADC and Comesa when the regional mean average is 22%? Why does your govt impose duty on inputs for the manufacturing sector? It is just plain st/u/pi.d to think that you can source all the manufacturing inputs locally. Some cheap Kaponyas have praised you Mutati that you are hard working…honestly what do you work hard at? It seems that it is just the same cheap Kaponya praise reserved for Northerners like Sata and people like yourself!

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