The Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) has commended His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema on key pronouncements in his inaugural address to the country and the international community. The measures touched on particularly in the area of economic affairs and national development raise the bar for Zambia’s recovery and investment confidence within the ranks of both local and foreign investors. The statesmanship, visionary approach outlined and taken by President Hichilema has spurred increased confidence in our remarkable journey which must get back on track. These are key riders for mutual understanding between the public and private sector and we appreciate to the salient points he shared both in his victory address and inauguration speech. ZACCI looks forward in working with the President and his Government in all economic sectors as outlined from agriculture, energy,
technology, mining, tourism, environment sustainability and other highlighted areas. These are core and our continued recognition as partners in development does yield from the captains of industry the promise of a positive operating environment for all entrepreneurs.

With the President’s key observations and highlights on Economic Cooperation, Trade and Investment for development forming a critical base, this pronouncement creates an assured platform that builds confidence and comforts for entrepreneurs to take reasonable risks. The desired expansion of local businesses into the regional and international marketplace can only be sustainable for the Zambians businesses if the locally pertaining trading environment is conducive and all elements to the cost of
finance are stable and predictable.

Further, ZACCI is confident the new Government will firmly secure an International Monetary Fund economic program and associated $1.3 billion loan or more before the end of 2021 or within the first quarter of 2022. ZACCI is also ready to contribute at
discussions on the current unsustainable debt situation and well as debt management going forward. In line with these engagements, we call upon the new Government to call for additional submissions towards the 2022 national budget to allow industry and the
government revisit the direction of all economic sectors. The President’s call to create and set Zambia as an energy surplus nation and indeed a net-exporter of electricity to other countries elates ZACCI and we anticipate the acceleration of the outstanding reforms to see the implementation of cost reflective tariffs and lowered taxes in the electricity sub-sector. Electricity is a key catalyst to all areas of
industry and livelihood. The national development for job creation, mineral diversification and processing, successful broader agriculture initiatives, a green economy and protecting the environment spoken to will only be achieved with reliable and adequate electricity energy. The energy mix the President spoke of can see Zambia deploy more than 1000MW supported with investment in new transmission and distribution infrastructure over the next 3 years and the private sector stands ready to collaborate and invest.

The call of drawing Zambians at an early age into industry is kind and well acknowledged. We call upon President Hichilema to speedily attend to the revision of the school curriculum which with the times and industrialisation needs we are in has been out of touch and not producing industry-ready graduates. Internally, ZACCI implores the private sector regardless of institutional size to work with public sector and participate in the current economic drive. President Hichilema’s economic platform is based on private sector-led liberal market reform, which bodes well for us as a Private Sector, the IMF program, other international investors and global players targeting Zambia with whom partners can be pursued and we welcome his approach and vision. President Hichilema is a former member of the ZACCI board.

Statement released by ZACCI Secretariat
Chabuka Kawesha, ZACCI President

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