Government has set aside K1.2 million in the 2019 budget to go towards preparations for the Southern Province Investment Expo which will take place in the third quarter of next year.
Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale disclosed this during the inaugural meeting with government Heads of Departments and other stakeholders in Choma.
The Minister explained that the province has a lot of investment opportunities in various sectors such as mining, tourism, agriculture and livestock.
Dr. Hamukale is optimistic that the expo will attract investment in value addition of raw materials such as liquefaction of coal to produce diesel and fertilizer.
He added that southern province is the 3rd largest contributor to the country’s gross domestic product at 11%, therefore, such investment will boost not only the economy of the province, but Zambia at large.
The minister further implored the organizing committee to interact with provinces such as Luapula in order to learn from their experiences.
“We expect investors from our neighbouring countries, South Africa, Europe, Asia, and the United States. This expo is not for government only. We want participation of the private sector too”, he stressed.
And the Zambia development Agency (ZDA), which will provide technical guidance towards organizing the expo wants local entrepreneurs to benefit from the expo.
Speaking at the same meeting, ZDA Desk officer Chisanga Pule, for the southern province expo, said the agency will make interventions to empower local entrepreneurs in order to encourage their participation.
“The danger of these events is that they may just end up like fun-fares attended mainly by government officials while business people take back stage” Mr. Pule said.
He said businesses clinics will therefore, be set up where entrepreneurs can register their businesses to access various services at one stop.