Industrialization could be sped up and more foreign direct investment may come in Zambia amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a Zambian traders’ body said on Monday.
SADC-COMESA Traders Trust said the pandemic has changed cross-border trade and opened up chances for African countries to grow their economies and create the much-needed employment opportunities for the vast majority of populations through industrialization.
Prior to the advent of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns, most small scale cross-border traders form Zambian relied on South Africa and Tanzania and beyond for the survival of their businesses.
“Right now most small scale cross-border traders are surviving on local suppliers, mainly firms run by Chinese nationals. These firms have started producing most items that traders used to get from South Africa right here in Zambia,” said SADC-COMESA Traders Trust chairperson Misheck Musonda.
Musonda appealed for more investments in the form of manufacturing plants that can produce quality goods within Zambia, noting that having such in place would make goods readily available and affordable.
“That will lead to reductions in the cost of doing business and the creation of employment among other things. It is our hope that investors will seize this opportunity and set up manufacturing plants in Zambia,” he said. Enditem