PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has directed Energy Minister Dora Siliya and her Commerce counterpart, Margaret Mwanakatwe to ensure all the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) signed with French institutions are speedily implemented.
Mr Lungu told journalists after the France-Zambia business forum at the Movement for French Enterprises (MEDEF) centre that the Government was in a hurry to unlock the country’s economic potential.
Among the MoUs signed during the President’s three-day State visit here included one between Zambia and France Development Agency (AFD) framework convention on AFD’s activities in Zambia.
Other MoUs were between France 24 and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, Declaration of Intent between Business France and Zambia Development Agency, and Paris 1 Panthon Sorbonne University and the Hotel Tourism Training Institute Trust.
Independent Broadcasting Authority director-general Josephine Mapoma on Monday issued France 24 a licence to start operating in Zambia.
Mr Lungu said he had asked the two ministers to work at an appropriate speed and ensure that the MoUs were implemented.
He expressed gratitude to the French Government for pledging to help Zambia re-establish its national airline.
He said Zambia was a hub of tourism which needed to be air-linked for easier transportation of tourists into and out of the country.
The Head of State later attended a side event dedicated to renewable energy with top business executives, and facilitated by the Union of Renewable Energies (URE) at the MEDEF centre.
He said Zambia’s energy sector was in a crisis because hydro power formed 90 per cent of the country’s total supply.
Mr Lungu said following the Paris climate conference, dubbed COP 21, his administration had bought into the idea of alternative sources of energy to avoid depending on hydro power.
URE president Jean-Louis Bal said the association was interested in cooperating closely with Zambia in setting up renewable energy plants.
Mr Bal was excited about the legal framework Zambia was framing for renewable energy sources, which was in line with the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative formed after COP 21 and aimed at achieving universal access to energy in Africa.
He said the meeting would lead to more networking between French companies and Zambian entrepreneurs in the energy sector.
The President was hosted for lunch by the Association of International Exchanges in Agricultural and Agrifood Products and Techniques at Le Meurice Hotel, where he said Zambia was migrating towards increased investments in the livestock sector.
He said his administration was now looking at agriculture in a broader sense and had, as a result, split the Agriculture ministry to better manage livestock and fisheries.
Mr Lungu said depending on crop production alone, chiefly maize, was not a sustainable way of ensuring food security.
The President, who was accompanied to France by First Lady Esther Lungu and some Government officials, was expected to leave Paris at 21:25 hours, local time.