PRESIDENT Lungu has urged Zambians and other Africans to emulate China to develop their respective economies.
President Lungu said China was once a poor country which has now evolved to become one of the world’s economic giants.
“There is a lot we can learn from China as a country and as an African continent because it is an economic giant. It is time African countries took advantage of the numerous opportunities that China has presented to the continent to develop itself,” he said.
The President was speaking shortly after the opening ceremony of the Equipment and Manufacturing Industry Exhibition held at the FOCAC convention centre yesterday.
“In looking to China for economic assistance and co-operation, we must look within Africa before we look beyond SADC because there is a lot we can learn from each other. This should be done before we approach China as a friend of Africa.
“We should also realise that we are our own keepers as African states. China has said that it is up to Africa to explore the opportunities that it has to offer to us,” President Lungu said.
He said it is time for Africa to strategise on what measures to develop itself and its people and help build on home-grown initiatives.
And commenting on the US$60 billion funding support to Africa that China has promised, President Lungu said Zambia is ready to benefit from the money as long as the terms are favourable.
“We are ready to benefit as long as the terms are favourable and do not kill our initiatives. We need to realise that we can be where China is today because we know where it is coming from as a once poor country.
“Over the years, it has transformed its economy and everyone is now looking to China. That is the potential that Africa has to develop,” he said. By KAPALA CHISUNKA