The British America Tobacco (BAT) Zambia Plc has constructed a cigarette manufacturing plant at a cost of US$ 25 million aimed at localizing its brand portfolio in Zambia.
The plant which is situated at the Lusaka South Multi Facilitate Economic Zone has so far created 72 direct jobs for the local people and a further 2,500 jobs in formal and informal sectors hence contributing to the country’s economy.
Speaking during the media tour of the factory in Lusaka today, BAT Zambia Managing Director Godfrey Machanzi said his company is committed towards contributing to the country’s economic development agenda.
Mr. Machanzi noted that the construction of the factory is also evidence enough of government’s continued resolution of creating an enabling environment for investors to invest in the country.
He explained that BAT Zambia once had a factory in the country but was closed adding that the company is back as an expression of its confidence in the Zambian economy.
He said like the experience in other markets in which the company operate from, tobacco production supports many jobs up and down stream therefore making a positive impact in the country’s economy.
The BAT Zambia MD stated that illicit tobacco trade has continued to be the biggest challenge making Zambia the highest incidence of illicit imported tobacco products in Southern Africa.
Mr. Machanzi said cigarettes smuggled from neighbouring countries has significantly contributed to the illicit tobacco market.
He further thanked government for the support before and during the construction of the plant and the fair and balanced business regulations.