Govern­ment keen to pro­mote value ad­di­tion

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By SI­MON MUNTEMBA in Kapiri Mposhi

PRES­I­DENT Edgar Lungu says his Govern­ment is de­ter­mined to move Zam­bia from a pro­ducer of pri­mary prod­ucts to pro­ducer of fin­ished prod­ucts through pro­mo­tion of value ad­di­tion. And Pres­i­dent Lungu said it was Govern­ment's pol­icy to con­tin­u­ously en­gage and sup­port pri­vate sec­tor growth with a view to en­cour­ag­ing in­vest­ment in the econ­omy. Speak­ing dur­ing the of­fi­cial open­ing of the 2018 Cen­tral Prov­ince In­vest­ment Fo­rum and Expo at Mu­lun­gushi Uni­ver­sity yes­ter­day, Pres­i­dent Lungu said he was con­fi­dent that the eco­nomic out­look of the prov­ince would cer­tainly be trans­formed for the ben­e­fit of Zam­bia. Mr Lungu who toured the stands said he was en­cour­aged to learn that some com­pa­nies were al­ready adding value to var­i­ous pri­mary prod­ucts. He said if Zam­bia was to ac­cel­er­ate in­vest­ment and achieve sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, it should not be busi­ness as usual stress­ing that it was im­por­tant for Pro­vin­cial ad­min­is­tra­tions to take bold de­ci­sions aimed at stir­ring in­vest­ment. Pres­i­dent Lungu ex­pressed hap­pi­ness the suc­cess­ful host­ing of Lua­pula and Cen­tral Prov­ince Ex­pos was an in­di­ca­tion that the coun­try was mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion in its quest to boost the econ­omy. Mr Lungu also said it was Govern­ment's pol­icy to con­tin­u­ously en­gaged and sup­port pri­vate sec­tor growth with a view to en­cour­ag­ing in­vest­ment in the econ­omy of the coun­try. "We have a mam­moth task to de­liver de­vel­op­ment to our peo­ple. In this re­gard, I wish to ex­tend my in­vi­ta­tion to the pri­vate sec­tor to walk with us in our de­vel­op­ment jour­ney," he said. Mr Lungu said his Govern­ment was re­solved to pro­mot­ing busi­ness growth and was ready to work with lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional in­vestors to de­velop Zam­bia for the good of every­one. He high­lighted some of the in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties that Cen­tral prov­ince of­fered as agri­cul­ture hub, in­clud­ing tourism, min­ing and en­ergy among oth­ers. Mr Lungu ex­plained that to fa­cil­i­tate in­vest­ment in the agri­cul­ture sec­tor in the re­gion, Govern­ment was de­vel­op­ing farm blocks, con­struct­ing dams and live­stock breed­ing cen­tres. He dis­closed that Mount Meru had in­vested $50 mil­lion in a value ad­di­tion com­pany in the prov­ince which is pro­duc­ing cook­ing oil. Pres­i­dent Lungu said the in­vest­ment by Mount Meru had cre­ated 750 jobs and that 2,500 farm­ers had been en­gaged un­der its out-grower scheme. He how­ever said he was aware of the chal­lenges that busi­ness houses faced with re­gard to in­vest­ing in Zam­bia but as­sured them that Govern­ment was do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to en­cour­age in­vest­ment. He called on all in­vestors to take ad­van­tage of the in­vest­ment fo­rum and expo to ex­ploit the avail­able op­por­tu­ni­ties and in­vest in Cen­tral Prov­ince and Zam­bia at large. And speak­ing ear­lier Lua­pula Prov­ince Min­is­ter Nick­son Chi­langwa thanked his coun­ter­part Cen­tral Prov­ince Min­is­ter Syd­ney Mushanga for suc­cess­fully host­ing the in­vest­ment fo­rum and expo.

- Pic­ture by THOMAS NSAMA

First Lady Es­ther Lungu talks to Nche­lenge Pri­mary School pupil Jen­nifer Mu­sonda, who had chal­lenges with school fees and was found sell­ing mer­chan­dize at Nche­lenge Mar­ket . The First Lady has paid for her dur­ing an Out­reach Pro­gramme to men­tor the girl-child and em­power women in Nche­lenge, on Fri­day,

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