African Union praises Zambia’s ‘economic gains’

The African Union has noted Zambia’s resilience to improve its growth prospects and has attributed the good investment environment in the country to the Government’s good management of the economy and the prevailing peace.

Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Natama, Chief of Staff of the Bureau of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) lauded Zambia for its resilience in improving the economic welfare of the country.

Speaking at the opening of the High-Level Thematic Debate of the United Nations General Assembly on the “Promotion of investment in Africa and its catalytic role in achieving Africa’s Development objectives” at UN Headquarters in New York on 18 July, highlighting the investment inflows to the continent, Natama stated that Africa, in general, had seen an increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), with more expected in coming years.

“Credible estimates show that Foreign Direct Investments in Africa totaled US$55 billion in 2010, clocked US$80 billion in 2013, and are expected to rise to US $ 150 billion by 2015.

“For example, in recent years, Zambia witnessed a substantial 93 per cent rise in investments compared to 2011, a feature attributable to a well-managed economy and a peaceful transfer of power.” Ambassador Natama said.

Ghana, Botswana, Tanzania, Cabo Verde (formerly Cape Verde) and Mauritius had also registered high FDI inflows.

Africa offers some of the most attractive investment opportunities, and that the continent has in recent years boasted of some of the fastest growing economies in the world.

This is contained in a statement from the office of the first Secretary for Press and Public Relations-Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations, Chibaula Silwamba

Ambassador Natama noted that although intra-Africa investments have been low over the years, there has been a tremendous upsurge in the last five years, with Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa taking the lead.

Private and public investments are critical prerequisites for sustainable socio-economic development in Africa. Natama called for more investment in infrastructure to promote sustainable development, create jobs and reduce poverty in Africa.

The AU official said remittances from the African Diaspora offer huge potential for Africa to invest in human development especially in education, health and agriculture, including in start-up of small-scale and micro-scale businesses.

However, Natama noted that the high charges on remittances were depriving families of investment funds and retard Africa’s development to which Natama called for reduction of charges on remittances.

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