Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Director-General, Albert Halwampa, says African countries should trade and invest more with each other to increase jobs, value addition and support industrialisation.
“We believe that if Africa trades more with each other, invests more with each other, we are bound to increase jobs, value addition and support our industrialisation,” Halwampa said.
He spoke on the need to increase investment in areas such as agriculture, citing that land was available for such an undertaking, approximately one million acres set aside by the government for agriculture purposes.
Halwampa said this in an exclusive interview with Zambia Monitor at the just ended third edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023) in Cairo, Egypt.
In pushing government’s trade and investment agenda, Halwampa called on African farmers to take advantage of the one million acres of land available for investment by partnering with Zambians and undertake joint ventures.
He said this space was available for agricultural produce such as the growing of maize, soya beans, and among other crops and also venture into processing or value addition.
Halwampa further spoke on the need for investors to invest in Zambia’s mining sector, as government planned to scale up copper production to three million tonnes by 2030, saying Zambia was a perfect hub for African countries to invest in.
Halwampa believed that the IATF2023 presented an opportunity for African countries to interact, trade and clinch investment deals with an aim of increasing intra-Africa trade.
He shared important statistics of the intra-African trade between the continent which stood at 16 percent and that of the rest of world which stands at just at three percent.
Halwampa called for consolidated efforts to ensure that the trade figures on intra-African trade was enhanced, saying IATF was an important platform created under the African Union, supported by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to make sure that companies in Africa are able to meet, interact, buy, sale and invest.
“Zambia is excited to be here at the third edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair, with Zambia Development Agency playing its role in promoting trade and investment and we have brought in 23 companies to be able to structure deals and close transactions, network with an aim of improving investment and trade for Zambia,” Halwampa said.
He noted that Zambian companies had generated a number of leads, and ZDA would be able to announce the consolidated figures on how much investments and trade deals in due course.
Halwampa said under the auspices of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, the participating companies had the opportunity network, identify business leads, clinch deal, structure transactions and increase exports and investments with other companies from 55 participating African countries.
He urged the team of companies participating at the IATF to maximise the opportunities presented to them and get the maximum benefit.
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