Zambia Economic Growth Sectors for Investment
(By the Zambia Investment Center)
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ZAMBIA'S ECONOMIC POTENTIAL
Zambia is endowed with abundance of natural resources - Minerals, Arable Land, Rivers, Forests, Water Falls, Lakes and Wildlife - and with the country sufficiently underdeveloped it offers potential and profitable openings for investors. With total surface area of about 752,600 square km and mean altitude rising around 1200m above sea level, Zambia enjoys sub-tropical vegetation and climatic conditions.
With high literacy rate for adults - approximately 83.5% for Males and 65.5% for Females- as well as two state run Universities and additional institutions of higher learning, both skilled and semi-skilled workers, trained professionals and technicians are available at very competitive rates. Its central geographical location within South Central Africa with common borders to eight countries in the region provides excellent export market opportunities to potential enterprises.
Zambia has abundance of electric power and is a net exporter in the region. Though landlocked its Road, Rail and Telecommunication facilities are reasonably well developed for direct access to regional and international markets.
Zambia's active participation in 14 regional countries SADC Trade Protocol as well as the Africa wide 20 Countries COMESA/FTA offers preferential tariff access to total market potential of nearly 380 million people. Similarly, with advent of Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) duty free access to the huge USA market has become a reality. Zambia is also signatory to the Cotonou Agreement, which aims to achieve free trade arrangements between the E U and the A C P regional groupings.
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN EACH ECONOMIC SECTOR
Prime growth sectors for investment are Manufacturing, Agriculture and Agro-processing, Tourism, and Mining. Others offering potential investment opportunities include Construction, Transportation, Energy, Telecommunication and IT Services.
Manufacturing sector accounts for nearly 11% of the country's GDP and has been consistently growing. However, the sector needs diversification to produce wide variety of high quality value added intermediate and final products principally for the export markets. Engineering, Textiles, Wood & Wood Products, Building Materials, Processed Foods, Chemicals, Leather and Leather Products and Handicrafts offer potential opportunities.
Zambia has vast agricultural resource endowment. Arable land is plentiful for large-scale modern farming. Government has allocated vast tracks of land near rail and road networks for prospective investors and electrification of these blocks is on-going. Surface and underground water is in abundance.
Climatic conditions are ideally suited for wide variety of exportable crops including horticulture and floriculture. Agro-processing of wheat, soyabean, cotton, tobacco, spices, sugar and vegetables is encouraged to add value to local produce. Special incentives are offered to commercial and small-holder farmers. Presently, the Agriculture sector accounts for approximately 15% of the country's GDP.
Zambia has enormous reserves of Copper-Cobalt ore and the country is the fourth largest producer of copper metal. Gold, Nickel, Lead-Zinc, Iron and Manganese are also mined. In addition Zambia is endowed with very high quality of Gemstones - Emerald, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Rubies, Garnets, and Diamonds - which are still unexploited. With the privatization of the mining sector, potential opportunities have become very attractive.
Potential of Zambia as one-stop destination offers excellent prospects for advancement of this highly under-developed sector. With 19 National Parks, 23 Game Management Areas, largest Water Fall in the world, and 23 million hectares devoted to the conservation of spectacular variety of animals, the scope for a integrated quality tourism related investment is very attractive. Wildlife such as Elephant, Leopard, Lion, Cheetah, Rhinoceros, Zebra, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, Crocodile, Buffalo, Impala, Antelope, Baboon and host of smaller creatures as well as over 700 species of Birds can be seen. Opportunities to promote adventure holidays -white-water rafting, canoeing, rock-climbing, hand-gliding, fishing, bungi-jumping at Victoria Falls including its unique walking safaris offer excellent tourism potential.
Zambia has abundance of energy resources. The most important source of energy is electricity, which is generated by three major hydroelectric power stations with installed capacity of 1608 MW.
With the liberalization of the economy, Government has amended legislation affecting generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity thus allowing private sector entry. Potential opportunities identified are Kafue Gorge Lower HydroElectric Project, Itezhi-tezhi HydroElectric Project, Zambia-Tanzania Interconnector and Zambia-Namibia Interconnector. Exploration potential for hydrocarbons (oil and gas) is one area that has not been tapped fully - hydrocarbon source rocks are proven and are preserved in all basinal areas of Zambia. Government welcomes active participation from prospective investors with modern technological expertise.
Others sectors offering potential investment opportunities include Construction, Transportation, Human Resources, Telecommunication and IT Services. Development, improvement and modernization of Zambia's Road Transport, Railway, Inland Waterway Transport and Telecommunication network as well as Commercial properties to meet high quality international business and consumer requirements are areas that should offer profitable opportunities for both domestic and foreign entrepreneurs to pursue. Knowledge-based business institutions to improve and enhance the quality and diversity of Zambian and Regional workforce and management to achieve international standards also offers exciting investment opportunities. Similarly, private sector enterprises with expertise in environmental protection and natural resource management capacity building and training would find Zambia an attractive location to invest to meet both domestic and regional market potentials.
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