In a significant move towards reducing petroleum dependence and advancing the green agenda, President Hakainde Hichilema has extended an invitation to BYD (Build Your Dream), a global leader in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing, to invest in Zambia. This collaboration seeks to leverage Zambia’s abundant mineral resources for the production of EV components, with the dual goals of job creation and environmental sustainability.
President Hichilema’s visit to BYD in Shenzhen, China, underscored Zambia’s commitment to transitioning towards cleaner transportation options while harnessing its natural wealth. The President expressed optimism about the potential of this partnership, given BYD’s innovative prowess and its staggering workforce of 700,000, which includes 70,000 engineers.
“We continued our tour of duty here in Shenzhen, China, with a visit to BYD (Build Your Dream), a company that is among the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturers, by volume of sales,” President Hichilema remarked during his visit. “Through their Chairman and founder, Wang Chuanfu, we invited BYD to consider investing in Zambia that has the right mineral resources necessary for producing their components.”
He further emphasized Zambia’s determination to transform into an industrial hub through value addition to its minerals, thereby creating job opportunities and fostering economic growth. Zambia currently grapples with soaring petroleum bills, contributing to the high cost of living. The intention is to gradually shift towards electric vehicles, particularly for public service transportation, to alleviate this burden.
“These innovations will equally reduce vehicle emissions and help address environmental challenges as we deal with climate change,” President Hichilema noted, highlighting the alignment of this initiative with global environmental goals.
One of the key benefits of the proposed collaboration lies in its potential to empower Zambia’s youth, especially those aspiring to venture into engineering. BYD’s unique policy encourages each engineer to innovate a new project or idea every day, resulting in a new patent every 15 days. This commitment to innovation aligns well with Zambia’s ambitions for its young population.
“Zambia on the move!” President Hichilema affirmed, underlining the nation’s determination to foster sustainable development and environmental stewardship.
President Hichilema emphasized the pivotal role of electric motor vehicles in mitigating environmental challenges associated with traditional gasoline and diesel vehicles. He reiterated that their continued development and adoption were central to achieving a cleaner and more sustainable future for transportation.
BYD Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu expressed his company’s readiness to establish a robust value chain in the electric car business in Zambia. He lauded Zambia’s stable business environment as conducive for such endeavors.