By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
ZAMBIA’S copper has huge potential to drive the global shift to electric cars, according to the Zanaco Chief Risk officer, Mutisunge Zulu.
Mr Zulu has however mentioned that Zambia would first need to scale up copper-wire production as global adoption of electric cars accelerated.
He told the Africa Report that there was an opportunity which had not yet been tapped.
The global shift to electric vehicles is opening up new possibilities for Zambia with mining players such as ZCCM-IH indicating intentions to participate in the industry of supplying raw material to this venture.
“Trade has historically been hampered by weak manufacturing capability and over dependence on very few traditional products such as copper and maize. Zambia continues to export raw copper, depriving itself of real value,” Mr Zulu said.
He cited Neelkanth Cables and Zambia Metal Fabricators as examples of companies which were leading the way in copper-wire manufacturing
Mr Zulu however stressed that production at these manufacturing companies remained too small-scale.
On the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, Mr Zulu said it was likely that the country would commit to the partnership, but only after it addressed ways in which it could fully benefit.
“Which comes first, production from improved manufacturing capability for trade, or trade agreements which then improve manufacturing potential? Zambia seems to fall in the latter group.