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LUSAKA: Zambia has acknowledged that India’s assistance to Zambia has gone a long way in supplementing its development agenda.Finance and National Planning Deputy Minister Jonas Shakufuswa commended India for its continued technical and economic assistance.

The close historic interaction between the two countries has paved way for the establishment of diplomatic relations since Zambia’s independence in 1964, Shakufuswa said during the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation day (ITEC) in Lusaka last evening.

He noted that Indian investment is further contributing to Government’s economic recovery programme. Shakafuswa expressed hope that Zambian and Indian companies will continue to exploit the abundant resources in the country to explore new areas of cooperation.

The minister observed that cooperation between the two countries is a testimony of the commitment of both the governments towards promotion of south to south cooperation.

Speaking on the occasion, Indian High Commissioner to Zambia, River Wallang said ITEC is a vehicle which India utilises to channel its aid to Africa and other developing countries.

Wallang explained that the ITEC programme is based on India’s own experience in development. He disclosed that his country will this year alone provide about 4000 scholarships under ITEC in the civilian sector from which Zambia will have 60 places.

Wallang added that Indian government is currently working with the ministry of science and technology to set up two public computer learning kiosks to enhance computer learning skills among Zambians.

Source: Economic Times

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Seattle Times staff columnist

Our relationships with the rest of the world need some updating.

Things are changing. A large delegation from Zambia was in Seattle this week making a case for investment, not charity, as the cure for poverty.

It’s an argument many in Africa have been making for years, usually in the other Washington.

While few in the world’s leading capitalist nation are biting, China is pouring money into the continent in search of influence and profit. In Zambia, the Chinese invest in mining, retail and construction.

Viewed from the U.S., Africa seems a solid mass of disease, war, unstable dictators and rampant corruption.

The Zambian delegation, including the country’s president, argued that this view is full of stereotypes that do not apply to their country.

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Zambia is a country of 12 million in southern Africa. Copper mining is central to the economy, but tourism, manufacturing and agriculture are growing.

The Zambians were invited way out west to Seattle by the Initiative for Global Development, which believes eradicating deep poverty would eliminate many of the ills, including diseases and conflicts, that afflict the planet.

Members call themselves “business leaders working to end poverty.”

Getting people out of poverty is the right thing to do, but it also can be profitable for business and relieve governments in developed nations of numerous international headaches.

The U.S ambassador to Zambia has said a stable Zambia contributes to the U.S. goal of peace, democracy and economic growth in southern Africa.

IGD was founded three years ago by Bill Gates Sr.; Daniel J. Evans, the former senator and governor; former EPA administrator Bill Ruckelshaus; Weyerhaeuser heir Bill Clapp; and John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The delegation also scheduled meetings at Starbucks, Microsoft, Boeing and elsewhere.

levy_combine300.gifAt the session I attended, the president, Levy Mwanawasa, and his ministers made a compelling case for investment. How’d you like to pay no taxes on business earnings?

They talked about their new zero-tolerance policy on corruption and their commitment to democracy, stability and economic growth.

And, said the minister of commerce, trade and industry, the weather is perfect.

What are we waiting for?

Well, actually, the weather isn’t perfect. It gets pretty hot there, and then there is the matter of infrastructure, and if they have cured corruption they are the only nation anywhere to have done so.

Zambia still has problems, but curing poverty would help solve them.

Business investment (not exploitation) is necessary.

Mwanawasa invited American entrepreneurs to visit and see that “the truth is the opposite of what you think is true.”

It’s not exactly the opposite, but Zambia seems to be at a point where investment could benefit Zambians and offer the U.S. new opportunities to make money and make friends.

Jerry Large’s column appears Monday and Thursday. Reach him at 206-464-3346 or jlarge@seattletimes.com.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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By Stephanie McCrummen

Washington Post Foreign Service

Easy Steps For Zambians Abroad To Invest in LuSE

NAIROBI — One ordinary afternoon in a bright, marble-floored lobby downtown here, the following conversation took place between two women, a government worker and a self-employed soapmaker.

“I bought KenGen at 9.90 shillings,” said the government worker, Josephine Nduta, referring to her stake in the initial public offering of Kenya‘s power company last year. “I sold them at 28 — I made a lot of money!”

Traders conduct transactions at computers on the floor of the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Until 2005, the exchange traded stocks using a paper system.

Traders conduct transactions at computers on the floor of the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Until 2005, the exchange traded stocks using a paper system. (By Stephanie Mccrummen — The Washington Post)

 

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“I also made money on that,” said Mary Kariuki, the soapmaker, recalling how she used the $1,000 to pay her children’s school fees. “I bought 3,300 shares.”

The two women carried on about liquidity and profit margins, and recalled with pride attending the first shareholder meeting of KenGen this year, an event so huge that it had to be held in the city’s largest soccer stadium. About 200,000 people from all corners of the country came like so many newly minted executives.

“I felt so good,” Kariuki recalled. “It was just normal, common people. People dressed well. What impressed me was the number of old women — they were coming in their traditional clothes. They were telling me, ‘Yes, we bought!’ ”

Stock market fever is sweeping Kenya and other sub-Saharan African countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Zambia, where stock exchanges, along with national economies, have shown steady gains in recent years as people who have traditionally invested in cows or land are learning to trust in the abstraction of corporate shares.

Perhaps nowhere has the idea caught fire more quickly than in Kenya. With investment banks conducting education campaigns in rural areas and daily newspapers thick with personal finance sections, the Nairobi Stock Exchange has transformed in recent years from a rich man’s club into a computerized, mass-appeal institution.

Since 2002, the number of investors has risen from 50,000 to more than 750,000, according to stock exchange executives, with much of that growth coming from rural areas. The exchange’s total value has jumped from $1 billion to $12 billion, amounts that are predicted to swell again following the biggest initial public offering in Kenyan history.

Cellphone giant Safaricom, expected to go public later this year, has attracted such foreign investment banks as Goldman Sachs to Nairobi for the first time, offering their services, and analysts expect that as many as 3 million individual investors in this country of nearly 36 million will participate.

“People are coming on a daily basis just to see what it’s about,” said Chris Mwebesa, 36, chief executive of the Nairobi exchange. “We’re seeing more rural folks coming to the market, working professionals, retirees, farmers, young people, even students.”

The boom has its skeptics, especially in a country with a history of entrenched corruption. And while people such as Nduta have made money on the whole — she is using some of it to electrify her house — she is also aware of the risk of losing big. Even so, the boom underscores a feature of life in Africa that often gets lost amid more prevalent images of a continent in perpetual collapse: dogged optimism.

A recent opinion poll by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that people surveyed in 10 African nations were on the whole optimistic about the future. In Kenya, 78 percent of those surveyed said life was getting better, even though a majority also reported that there were times in the past year they did not have enough money for food.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/25/AR2007082501291.html?sub=AR

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br-01-2.jpgZambian small scale farmers can start creating co-operatives in readiness for a totally new market in Asia. On August 16th last year the National Bureau of Statistics and the National Development and Reform Commission announced that they had confirmed with the World Bank that China’s national per capita national income had reached US$1,740. 

Their disposable income per capita of urban residents increased 11.3% compared with the same period of the previous year, after deducting the price increasing factors, the real increase rate was 8.6%. The expenditure per capita increased 9.9%, and a real increase of 7.2%. Of which, the services expenditure increased 8.6%. 

This means that the Chinese economy is moving from an agricultural type we have always known it to be into an industrialized phase. With shrinkage of the grain harvesting area, with the loss of irrigation water, with desert expansion, with the conversion of cropland to non-farm uses, with the shift to higher-value crops and the loss of farm labor to the coastal provinces – China faces an uncertain food security future. 

In the North China Plain, for instance, which produces half of China’s wheat, water tables are falling by 3 to 10 feet per year, and China will soon be, for the first time in its history, dependent upon the outside world to feed itself. And that’s where the co-operative farmers from the Zambian Enterprise could come in and reap “GOLD” by aligning themselves with the future crop needs China will soon itself with.

But why co-operatives? It is because these (co-operatives) have the capacity to mobilize both the human and financial resources needed and work with the Chinese Embassy in Lusaka using an organized front while at the same time finding sister co-operative organizations in China to operate as export centers for them.

There are two kinds of China, the New China and the old China. The New China is highly industrialized, highly technical and highly cutting edge but it still relies on the Old china for food supplies. Old China is co-operative based and partnering with Old China would reap the highest benefits in a symbiotic fashion.  

Incidentally, nearly all of China’s foods can be raised in Zambia. For instance their favorite meat is pork, they eat a lot of ducks, regular hens from villages and whole food fish similar to what can be harvested in Lake Tanganyika, rice from Western and Luapula provinces and corn from Southern province. 

Cargo freight could start picking up food exports to China as early as next year from Lusaka via Dubai into Xian in readiness for Beijing Cuisine the following day.  China is a huge market and with 1.3 billion mouths to feed not even the Zambian Enterprise can feed all of them but therein lays a huge opportunity for savvy entrepreneurs … thanks a trillion. 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr. 

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle 

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