INCREASED agricultural exports in June resulted in Zambia’s non-traditional exports (NTEs) rising by 11.3 percent to over K2.51 billion from about K2.2 billion in May. Zambia Statistics Agency (ZamStats) data indicates that agricultural products accounted for a share of 34.6 percent of Zambia’s NTEs compared to 22.8 percent in May. ZamStats statistician general Mulenga Musepa said the export earnings from agricultural products increased by 68.8 percent to K870.6 million in June from K515.7 million in May. “The major export commodities were raw cane sugar accounting for 21.8 percent, followed by tobacco at 17.1 percent and groats (hulled kernels of various cereal grain), and meal of maize corn accounting for six percent,” Mr Musepa said last week. Read more
Production hits 420,000mt in first half of 2020
ZAMBIA’s copper production in the first half of this year increased to over 420,000 metric tonnes from about 397,000mt the same period last year due to some mining firms increasing production. Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development Permanent Secretary Barnaby Mulenga said during the period under review, mining firms such as Kalumbila, Lumwana, Kansanshi and NFCA Africa increased production. Mr Mulenga said in an interview recently that copper prices on the international market have been on the nosedive for some time. “The mining sector is also affected by COVID-19, but we have noticed that for the first half of this year, the copper sub-sector performed better than last year the same period.
‘Adjust entry fees for foreigners at Victoria Falls’
A LIVINGSTONE-BASED tour operator has called on the Ministry of Tourism and Arts to consider adjusting entry fees for foreign nationals at the Victoria Falls. Abseil Zambia and Smiles Tours and Safaris operations manager Mulele Sikaneta said the current rate of US$20 for foreign nationals is not benefiting the National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC). Mr Sikaneta said the Victoria Falls is the only tourism attraction that entices foreign nationals to Livingstone, and that NHCC would benefit more if the entry fee is increased. “What is US$20 to someone who is paying US$4,000 for a return ticket to come into the country? This is the only gold mine we have in Livingstone, but we are not getting much from it,” he said. Read more
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS NEWS
Shoprite, Once Africa’s Expansion Champion, Plans to Exit Nigeria
Shoprite Holdings Ltd once heralded for leading the expansion trail into Africa, plans to exit Nigeria after the continent’s largest food retailer struggled with supply-chain disruptions and faced challenges in getting money out of the country. Talks that have started to sell the operations come after several other South African retailers that have left the continent’s most-populous country to focus more on their home market. Nigeria’s economy is being ravaged by a slump in oil prices that have dried up dollar supplies and a naira that was devalued earlier this year.