President Lungu says his government is in full support of the SADC industrialization strategy and roadmap 2015-2063 which aspires for the region to attain upper middle income status by 2050 and developed country status by 2063.
The Industrialization strategy and roadmap 2015-2063 which provides a clear framework for industrialization, economic diversification, productivity improvement, innovation, employment generation and market integration was approved by an extra-ordinary summit in Harare in April this year.
President Lungu noted that the transformation agenda fully supports the African Union Agenda 2063 and the United Nations sustainable development Goals adding that Africa will only become stronger if countries come together through regional cooperation and integration.
The President disclosed that Zambia is in the process of ratifying the treaty establishing the tripartite free trade area encompassing SADC, COMESA and East African Community which he said Cabinet has already approved.
He said government is also actively involved in the on-going negotiations to create an Africa Free Trade Area by 2017 noting that if successfully implemented, the efforts would transform the African continent into a major player in the global economy.
The Head of State was speaking during the state Banquet hosted in honor of King Mswati III of Swaziland who is in the country to grace Zambia’s 51st Independence celebrations.
President Lungu said Zambia and Swaziland enjoy warm bilateral relations that date back to the era of two countries’ independence liberation.
Mr Lungu called for strengthening of ties between the two southern African countries because Zambia and Swaziland share a common history and aspirations.
And King Mswati III commended President Lungu and his government for responding to people’s aspirations through numerous infrastructure developments taking place in the country.
The King said he was impressed to see numerous pieces of infrastructure that have been developed along the great East Road as he arrived in the country through Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.
The visiting King who is also Deputy Chairperson for SADC said Africa can only develop if the Free Trade Area is implemented so that countries can trade with each other with no restrictions.
He said his country enjoys the ties it has with Zambia because of the many benefits that Swaziland gets from the cordial relations.
He stated that Zambia has helped his country develop soccer to the current standard because most of the coaches in Swaziland are Zambians.
The State banquet was attended by First President Kenneth Kaunda, Vice President Inonge Wina, Cabinet Ministers and other senior government officials.