Zambia registers US$3bn in investment commitments this year – Mutati

By PRISCA LUMINGU in Livingstone

TECHNOLOGY and Science Minister Felix Mutati has disclosed that this year alone, the country has registered investment commitments exceeding US$3 billion which would be invested in agriculture, mining and technology.

Mr. Mutati said this was happening for the first time as the country has never registered such an investment commitment in a single year.

He said it was such investment commitments which was giving Government confidence that Zambia would become the hub of excellence in African plants in the region.

Mr. Mutati speaking in Livingstone yesterday when he pened the 22nd Congress of the Association for the Taxonomic Study of the Flora of Tropical Africa (AETFAT).

He said Government was confident that it would be able to create a centre of excellence in plants research.

“This gathering, brings together critical boards of knowledge regarding the use of African plants which is important, we have to use the knowledge to see how we can use the biodiversity of the African plant for the benefit of society,” Mr Mutati said.

He said even as the government goes on the journey to restore the economy, it puts the human beings at the centre.

Mr. Mutati said science, research and innovation must be used to drive sustainable and human development.

“Whatever we use today must not compromise the needs of future generations. In the short space we have been in government, we are dedicated to launch the satellite which will help us map the density of the plants to support critical research that is required in African plants,” he said.

Mr Mutati also said the government was working with the mining sector so that as mining companies do their activities, that does not disrupt the African plant.

And speaking at the same event, University of Zambia Vice Chancellor Professor Annie Sikwibele said the university was pioneering research on various drought-resistance crops.

Prof Sikwibele said the university had also established the centre of excellence for occupation of earth observation data on agriculture and food security.

Meanwhile speaking earlier, AETFAT acting committee chairperson Paul Smith thanked the Zambian government for its support towards the gathering.

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