The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has marked the culmination of 2023 by announcing an impressive achievement in the realm of investment, with nearly US$40 billion worth of committed investments and over 160,000 jobs stemming from 379 investment projects.
During the end-of-year Media Briefing in Lusaka, ZDA Board Chairperson Professor Biemba Maliti attributed this substantial success to the exemplary leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema. Professor Maliti highlighted that President Hichilema’s strategic engagement with global leaders and investors had opened doors, making Zambia an attractive destination for investments.
“President Hichilema’s leadership has inspired investor confidence, resulting in the implementation of numerous committed investments from Europe, China, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Middle East, and other parts of the world,” Professor Maliti explained.
The ZDA Board Chairperson outlined the key drivers behind the significant investment projects, citing stable macroeconomic fundamentals, government-led business reforms such as the Public Private Dialogue Forum and the Presidential Delivery Unit, and increased funding to the ZDA as pivotal factors.
In addition to committed investments, Professor Maliti highlighted the ZDA’s efforts in facilitating market access for exporters. The Agency assisted 283 exporters in reaching potential buyers in countries such as Congo DR, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, and Angola. Furthermore, 347 exporters received training in export readiness, while 700 were facilitated to access trade information.
Looking ahead to 2024, Professor Maliti outlined the ZDA’s upcoming initiatives, including hosting the Make in Zambia Investment Conference, supporting the development of Special Economic Zones, launching a virtual deal room, and focusing on the electric vehicle batteries and battery accessories value chain.
In the trade and business development sector, the ZDA aims to increase Trade Missions into the Democratic Republic of Congo, establish beef and crop zones, and facilitate partnerships and joint ventures.
The remarkable success of the ZDA in 2023 represents a substantial leap, with a 300 percent increase in commitments compared to the previous year. The manufacturing sector took the lead with investments totaling US$19.72 billion, followed by the energy sector at US$8.9 billion and mining at US$6 billion. Professor Maliti expressed optimism for continued growth and economic transformation in the coming year.