Economic recovery in sight

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 11:29:20 +0000


ASSURANCES by Africa’s richest man Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the proprietor of Dangote Group of Companies, to diversify his investment in Zambia is not only good news but also a testament that Zambia has a conducive investment environment.

The pronouncements to invest more money in sectors such as agriculture is timely considering that Government intends to implement a robust economic recovery and diversification plan away from the mining to agriculture and industrialisation.

“We are here to stay and invest more money. We are in the cement manufacturing industry and obviously we shall look at other sectors that we need to invest in because like what we have done is to first go out and test the waters,” Aliko Dangote said.

It is obvious that the setting up of a cement plant on the Copperbelt province by Dangote Group of Companies has benefited ordinary citizens in that they can now afford to embark on construction of houses at reasonable costs.

It is interesting to note that the Nigerian born entrepreneur has spotted an investment opportunity in the agriculture sector that has remained untapped over the years.

Research indicates that despite the drought spell that hit the Southern African region in the previous year, Zambia holds 60% of fresh water, providing the country with a golden opportunity to venture into agriculture activity on a large scale.

And probably this explains why Dangote Group of Companies have expressed interest to invest into the  agriculture sector particularly in rice and sugar farming which has not been considered by many of our commercial farmers.

Going by the foregoing, we think that Government must as well focus its attention on attracting investment into the setting up of fertilizer plants that should bring about competitive pricing of the commodity so that it is affordable to our farmers.

We are optimistic this would boost the agriculture sector in the same manner that the coming on board of Dangote Group of Companies did when it commenced production of cement a few years ago.

We may not be privy to the discussions that President Lungu held with Alhaji Aliko Dangote but we think that the energy sector remains key to sustainable economic recovery among other factors for consideration. Attracting investment into the energy sector will surely accelerate activity in the manufacturing sector which in turn shall result in increased economic activity.

Evidently, the rate at which Zambia is attracting huge investments bears testimony to the conducive environment for investment as opposed to the gloomy picture some opposition political party leaders would want to project to the outside world.

It is fascinating to observe the candour with which Aliko Dangote has shown willingness to partner with Government in creating jobs for the Zambians “They (government) have promised jobs to Zambians but governments don’t create jobs. Instead, they facilitate for the private sector to create jobs,” he said.

We are certain that prioritising attraction of both local and international investments into key economic sectors by Government will see Zambia’s economy rebound sooner than later.


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