The Ministry on Commerce, Trade and Industry has developed an Industrial Policy to support and accelerate industrialisation in Zambia in line with other countries in the COMESA bloc.
Ministry of Commerce Permanent Secretary, Kayula Siame, has told ZANIS in Antananarivo that consultation, validation and formulation of the policy has been completed and the policy will soon be taken to Cabinet for approval before the end of the year.
Ms Kayula explained that the industrial policy will address issues of productive capacity for enterprises to promote the production and consumption of local contents.
She said the policy also looks at value-addition to products that are locally produced and innovation and technology required in production so as to attain the aim of industrialisation in Zambia.
She noted that previously Zambia had a commercial trade and industrial policy that was meant to support industrialisation but failed to work because it did not look at all the gaps that were required to accelerate industrialisation.
“So what we have done now is that we have developed an Industrial Policy and this policy has been finalised, validated and consultations have taken place and is ready to be taken to Cabinet for approval,” Ms Kayula explained.
She said Zambia is in a hurry to industrialise as directed and emphasised by the republican President, Edgar Lungu, who has on several occasions emphasised on the need to speed up the process of industrialisation.
She said the COMESA Council of Ministers’ meeting also looked that industrialisation and the Industrial Policy and further looked at how member countries can develop more ownership of the industrialisation process.
She said members states of COMESA have been encouraged to identify each area they have comparative advantage so that they can lead in a certain cluster such as agriculture or mining.
Ms Kayula said the Zambian delegation would straight away embark on ensuring that the country realises its dream of fully industrialising using the policy framework which will be put in place in due course.
She said in addition to focussing on value-addition and innovation, the Ministry of Commerce will also use the cooperatives as viable business models to industrialise.
The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry represented Zambia in the council of Ministers of Commerce during the COMESA Summit which closed on October 19, 2016, in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
Recently, President Lungu hinted during the official opening of Parliament that government would develop an Industrialisation Policy which would stipulate achievable outcomes in order to stimulate job creation through industrialisation and tackle high levels of poverty and unemployment.
The President told the House that his government would take to Parliament a new Trade, Investment and Enterprise Development Bill that would facilitate the growth on non-traditional exports, enterprise growth and domestic and foreign direct investment.
The Head of State noted that diversification and industrialisation were important strategies government would employ to attain sustainable economic growth which is in line with what the just-ended COMESA Summit was discussing under the theme, “Inclusive and sustainable Industrialisation.”