Zambia’s new President Hakainde Hichilema has promised to position Zambia as Africa’s top mining countries by instituting a raft of measures that include expansion of the mining value chain and mineral diversification.
Zambia is predominantly known for producing copper but Hichilema who won defeated the incumbent, Edgar Lungu, by a landslide of more than a million votes pledged to ensure that the southern African nation earn huge by diversifying to other minerals to propel Zambia to become Africa’s top mining power houses.
In its final tally, Zambia’s electoral commission announced that Hichilema won 2,810,777 votes beating Lungu who had 1,814,201 in the August 12 elections. There were seven million registered voters.
Fresh from attaining landslide electoral victory Hichilema is envisioning big for his country.
“In mining, we will strive to increase copper and other mineral production so that Zambia can reclaim its place as one of Africa’s leading mining countries. We shall promote expansion of the mining value chain as well as the promotion of mineral diversification,” Hichilema said in his inauguration speech.
“We will, therefore, encourage the production and processing of gemstones, gold, nickel, manganese, iron, industrial and other minerals. We will put in place measures to facilitate local ownership and increased participation of Zambians in the sector.”
To avert the electricity crisis in the country, Hichilema said his administration would transform Zambia into an energy surplus country.
This he said will be done through implementing an ambitious energy investment plan to increase power generation and further broaden the energy mix.
In agriculture, Hichilema said he would work flat out to enhance production, agricultural extension services, market access, value addition and lowering the cost of inputs.
To improve land administration and management in the country, my administration will put in place a transparent policy framework. We will promote equitable access to land for all citizens. We will strengthen the land tenure security and enhance sustainable utilisation and productive management of land resources,” Zambia’s President said.
He pledged to prioritise establishing a stable and predictable environment that will promote private local, regional and international investment, protection of private property and growth and generate value for all stakeholders.
“We will aggressively promote the creation of jobs and opportunities that will create wealth, especially for our youth, women and indeed all citizens. God has blessed us with abundant natural, human and other resources that we will derive greater value from, though value addition and the promotion of greater supply chain participation by our citizens. In addition, we will put in place a conducive policy environment to encourage private investment in generation, transmission, distribution and retail in the sector,” he said.
Hichilema said the potential of the tourism sector would soon be realised through the promotion of Zambia and its various tourism endowments as the destination of choice.
“This will include reviewing visa requirements, building support infrastructure and revising tax rates. Economic cooperation, trade and investment, security for peace and stability, and development, will form a critical base for our foreign policy,” he said.