PRETORIA – 28TH JANUARY, 2015 – ZAMBIA’S High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba on Wednesday, 27th January, 2016 met several of South Africa’s top commercial farmers whom he urged to take advantage of Zambia’s investor-friendly environment and the abundant arable land.
Mr. Mwamba said Zambia was one of the few countries in the world that had the most conducive environment for investment anchored by political stability.
He said the usual narrative of conflict in Africa did not apply to Zambia as the country has never experienced this from the time it became independent 51 years ago but has managed to peacefully transfer power to six presidents through elections.
“Zambia is one of the richest countries in terms of natural resources. We have huge tracts of arable land across a country of over 700, 000 square kilometres but unfortunately we only utilise about 10 per cent of this. You can fly into Zambia today to register your company and within 24 hours the process would have been completed,” he said.
Mr. Mwamba noted that Zambia would be going to elections later this year and that there were several candidates that had expressed interest in contesting the presidency but “I have faith in President Lungu because he is God fearing.”
“We have been spared from conflict because we put God first. It is not by accident that we have continued enjoying peace in this country which has been officially declared a Christian nation,” he added.
Mr. Mwamba pointed out that Government was now focusing on agriculture as the alternative sector to drive Zambia’s economy.
“We are calling on you the farmers to come and assist us diversify our economy. And what we are encouraging is that you come in and set up an out-grower scheme arrangement with the communities. This will in turn also earn you good reputation as you will be showing that you are a good corporate citizen,” he said.
The High Commissioner urged the farmers to join the Zambia South Africa Business Council which could assist them in addressing some of the challenges they would face in trying to enter Zambia.
Mr. Mwamba was speaking at a seminar jointly organised by Agri All Africa (AaA) and Agri Zambia in Pretoria where he addressed about 50 of the cream of South Africa’s commercial farmers who are members of AaA.
AaA was formed by South African commercial farmers with the aim of supporting the development of commercial agriculture in Africa which they have recognised as the key driver of the continent’s economic development.
And Agri-Zambia Managing Director, Mr. Landon Romano told the farmers that Zambia was eager and committed to agricultural development and to promote itself economically.
Mr. Romano, who spoke about organised farming value and agribusiness propositions in his presentation, pointed out that Agri Zambia was able to assist the farmers access land and also facilitate the registration of their companies in Zambia.
He assured that there was investment guarantees and protection against state nationalisation through the Certificate of Registration for any investment under the Zambia Development Agency Act of 2006.
“Zambia is eager to maximise benefits from its natural resources. You should treat Zambia as the nucleus of how you want to grow your agricultural business because I can assure you that Zambia has great potential to become the food basket of the region,” Mr. Romano said.
Agri Zambia, under the mandate of AaA, represents a team of Zambian and international businessmen, who focus on maximising stakeholders’ value through both non-commercial organised agriculture and commercial agriculture interests.
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