Friday, May 24, 2024

Zambia Asks for more time before Committing to Africa Free Trade Area

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Commerce, Trade, and Industry Minister Chipoka Mulenga has disclosed that Zambia has requested more time to engage the private sector before committing to the Africa continental free trade area agreement.

Speaking during a panel discussion organized by the American chamber of commerce in Zambia in partnership with UNICAF in Lusaka, Mr. Mulenga said that the government has asked for more time from the countries involved in the agreement so that it can fully engage the private sector as committing to the agreement now will be of less benefit to Zambia.

Mr. Mulenga explained that the new dawn government has observed that the agreement at the moment best favors countries that have been involved in value addition for years and are already doing well in that area.

Mr. Mulenga said that it will not be wise for Zambia to be subjected to the same conditions as other countries that have been involved in value addition for many years.

The Commerce, Trade, and Industry Minister has however clarified that the new dawn government does not oppose the Africa continental free trade area agreement, but for now it wants to thoroughly engage the local private sector and see how best the agreement will benefit from it, hence requiring more time before it commits.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mulenga has announced that the new dawn government will this year apportion 10,000 hectares of land in each of the 150 districts across the country to investors to use for additional value purposes.

He said following Zambia’s participation at the Dubai expo, there has been overwhelming interest from investors across the country who are willing to use the land for farming and production industries that will result in the value addition of products.

He has however stated that this will be done through promoting joint ventures with foreign investors who should ensure skills transfer to the locals.

And speaking earlier, American Chamber of commerce in Zambia president Lowani Chibesakunda says the chamber has continued to be a valuable organization for its members by providing platforms to exchange ideas with stakeholders.

9 COMMENTS

  1. The totally incompetent and corrupt Edgar China Lungu signed the country up for this disaster waiting to happen

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  2. Now this is what we call a GRZ……….

    We all know zambia was a big shopping mall for countries to sell their finished products in…………

    Well done new dawn GRZ…,…….

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  3. I agree with the Minister, it’s important to slow down when you’re not ready. However, our economists haven’t helped matters. We seem to always think in one channel. When everyone says value addition then the chorus shall be so. Since we don’t a strong manufacturing base, why can’t we take Dubai as a model? They’re just a trade centre. How does Zambia use its central position to be a regional trade centre? We can create dry ports and have people conduct business from here. Dar es Salaam, Maputo & Walvis Bay are all sea ports but can’t match Durban because of inefficiency. We can take advantage of our position by improving our systems. At one time most of West Africa relied on the Mwembeshi Satellite for their communication. Wasn’t that beautiful?

  4. Well done! We need to grow our manufacturing base and other industries to be competitive enough. If anything, we should leave that agreement.
    I remember reading two articles posted on this platform by an author whose name I cannot remember, suffice it to state he argued very strongly against Zambia signing these agreements.

  5. Apportioning 10,000 hectares in each of the 150 districts!!? Sounds like more precious forests lost to pointless ventures! How many thousands of young people will the “investors” employ?..I expect less than a handful shoddily paid villagers, or non; because, most young people, languishing without jobs, are in inner cities & towns – not deep in forests where these activities will be conducted. We keep expanding deeper into forests, for constructs that benefit very few individuals, & seemingly without due consideration to the numerous perils human presence will wreak on the ecosystem. What will happen to all the wildlife living there now? All to be ignored? Utilise brown land bordering towns and cities – here, at least, the animals would have long dispersed.

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