President Lungu disembarks from a chartered private plane
President Lungu disembarks from a chartered private plane

As His excellency travels yet again, the Zambian foreign policy seems haphazard to say the least. It does not seem to have a clearly defined objective.

The trips seem to be more of ceremonial arrangements than trips to target certain specific objectives.

What we need as a country is to increase the number of countries we do trade with, especially in Africa, and thereby lessening the impact of the Chinese economy on our economy. The fact that China accounts for the majority of our produce is frightening. Because the current economic down turn we are undergoing is as a result of over dependance on a single customer, who now has challenges of her own.

Even as we strive to diversify into agriculture, Africa presents a unique opportunity for trade in agriculture produce. An example, Angola has the second highest cost of living in the world, because of pockets of violence still exists in the outskirts, and also the heavily mined fields, means the conditions are not suitable for farming.This essentially means , Angola is heavily dependent on agricultural imports. Many countries in Africa are in such predicaments as Angola. Burundi, Sierra Leone, DRC, etc Are all examples. All these still import a lot of food.

The Congolese maize saga of two years ago, for instance seemed like a problem because we nearly had a shortage of maize produce because farmers and millers preferred to sell their maize and mealie to DRC because they would pay three times more than Zambians would have at the time, but indeed that was a window of opportunity that we ought to have exploited further. There are numerous markets around Africa for what we are currently producing and for what we hope to produce. So even as His Excellence and Honourable Kalaba , Minister of foreign affairs travel around the world and especially, Africa, trade formalization should be the main agenda item. We need to see focus on this area more and more because currently it does not seem as though that is a key agenda .

By Niza Phiri
(Munali aspirant)

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Niza Phiri you talk like you just arrived on the planet. China is the biggest consumer of copper which is Zambia’s main export commodity. To stop relying on chinese influence is to diversify the economy which is what everyone is singing about. Diversification itself is not simple and straightforward. There are all sorts of trade barriers to agricultural produce for example such that even if by miracle Zambia produced a lot of groundnuts or cotton, you would still have problems where to sell it. Thats why there is all this talk of regional integration and trade balance between western countries and Africa.

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    • Zambians talk about diversifying the economy the same way they talk about decentralization.
      Both lack political will….. we need a deliberate and major political paradigm shift to achieve both.

      Our agriculture system has largely remained the same…. we totally depend on the rain season and if there’s no rain we are sunk!! even our energy sector shuts down like we are experiencing now.

      We need to change our mindset, our approach….otherwise we will continue wallowing in poverty and prosperity will continue to elude us

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  2. Niza Phiri you are surely asking so much from a LAZY bum like Edgar..the man hasn’t even given you his roadmap!!

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  3. @jj you sound more like an allien than a Zambian. How many times has elc explained his road map . Your hate for elc will never make Zambia love your preferred candidates. In fact you are lessening their chances of winning elections each time post a hate comment.

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