Zambia recorded $3.4 billion in investment pledges in different sectors of the economy in 2016, representing a 0.7 percent increase from the previous year.
The Zambia Development Agency says the energy sector registered the highest amount of pledged investment, followed by manufacturing and agriculture.
ZDA Director General Patrick Chisanga said investment rose despite a general election last year which showed that investor confidence in Zambia was not eroded.
“Normally, investors tend to hold back on their planned investments until they can see assurance of political stability. In the Zambian scenario investor confidence remained robust and growing throughout the election period. With the election period being over, the ZDA expects a further upward trend in pledged investments and pledged employment creation in the year 2017,” he said.
Mr Chisanga said the energy sector registered the highest amount of pledged investment during the period under review totaling USD 878 million, representing 26 percent of the total pledged investment.
He said the manufacturing sector recorded the second highest with 22 percent of the total pledged investment, while the agriculture sector accounted for 15 percent.
“The construction and real estate sectors accounted for 9 percent each, while the mining and tourism sectors accounted for 5 percent each. The ICT and service sectors accounted for 3 percent each, the transport sector recorded 1 percent while the health and agro-processing sectors accounted for less than 1 percent of the total pledged investment,” Mr Chisanga said.
The ZDA Director General said the economic outlook for 2017 looks bullish adding that the 4.9% GDP growth projection as projected by the Africa Development Bank is an indication of renewed confidence from over the year 2016 during which GDP stood at 3% and there was negative drought effects and intermittent electricity supply.
“ZDA has received investment enquiries in all the sectors of the economy. This is generally a good indication of the continued belief in the country’s ability to attract and retain investments,” he said.
Mr Chisanga said, “All these economic variables suggest that the Zambian economy is indisputably bottoming out of the 2015/2016 recession and is exhibiting a strong growth trajectory. Clearly, the worst is over now and we can confidently look forward to a much brighter economic outlook going forward.”