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By Shapi Shacinda

LUSAKA, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Zambia will export 150,000 tonnes of white maize to a neighbouring country, agriculture and co-operatives minister Ben Kapita said on Friday.

Kapita, who declined to name the country where maize would be exported, said the planned export by the state-run Food Reserve Agency (FRA) would bring the total national exports this year to 450,000 tonnes.

“I have clinched a very good deal and I have allowed the FRA to export another 150,000 tonnes of maize to a country within the Southern African Development Community,” Kapita told Reuters in an interview.

He said the FRA finalised the export deal this week.

Kapita said total maize exports by the FRA this year would be 300,000 tonnes. Further exports by farmers, millers and grain traders of 50,000 tonnes each would push the total to 450,000 tonnes, he said.

Kapita said Zambia would only keep 250,000 tonnes white maize in strategic reserves.

He said the fresh maize exports had been prompted by lack of storage capacity and also to enable the FRA to repay bank loans it received to purchase maize from farmers, transporters and rented storage facilities.

Kapita also said most of the grain silos had been destroyed following years of neglect and the country did not therefore have enough storage facilities.

“Instead of letting the maize go to waste due to heavy rains, I decided it is better to export it. I also want the FRA to repay the loans, including the 35 billion (Zambian) kwacha ($9.2 million), which I gave them recently to pay some of the farmers,” Kapita said.

Kapita said Zambia had also donated 10,000 tonnes white maize to the World Food Programme (WFP) for relief operations in the southern Africa region.

“We have given the WFP 10,000 tonnes maize for relief operations and that does not include 2,000 tonnes which we donated directly to Swaziland,” he added.

The minister said Zambia was currently negotiating with the Chinese to repair dilapidated grain silos as the country started to increase its maize production capacity.

“Right now a team from the FRA is in China to negotiate the repair of silos. We want to build our capacity as most the silos have not been repaired since the 1980s,” Kapita said, but he gave no further details.

Kapita told Reuters in June that the southern African country of 11.5 million people planned to raise maize output to 4.2 million tonnes within the next three years from 1.3 million tonnes in 2007.

Zambia has revamped its agriculture sector under plans to diversify the economy and has become a net maize exporter after facing severe maize deficits in the early 2000s.

The country has in the last few years been providing subsidised pesticides and seed to small scale farmers in a bid to encourage them to grow more maize. (Reporting by Shapi Shacinda, Editing by Peter Blackburn)

Source: The Guardian

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Published:Dec 07, 2007



Zambia’s government has begun renegotiating fixed tax agreements held by international mining firms with a view to effecting the new tax measures early next year.

Zambia’s finance minister announced plans to increase taxes paid by copper mining firms so that the Zambians can also reap the benefit of high copper prices and the commodity boom.

Revenues from copper, which is currently trading at about US$3.00/lb on the international market, make up more than half of Zambia’s gross domestic product.

Most big mining firms in Zambia signed legally binding development agreements with the government, allowing them to operate at a fixed tax rate for a period between 15 to 25 years.

According to The Times of Zambia, these agreements for lower taxes were signed with investors at a time when the prices of copper on the foreign market were very low.

The concessions were granted to the mining investors in 2000, but their tax contribution no longer corresponds with their revenues following soaring metal prices on the international market.

Announcing plans to increase the royalties paid by copper mining firms, Zambia’s finance and national planning minister Ng’andu Magande said it had become apparent that there was a need for further reform in the country’s fiscal and regulatory regime if the people of Zambia were to benefit equitably from their natural resources.

Magande said copper mining firms in Zambia were expected to earn US$3.5 billion in revenue this year, but would only pay a tax contribution of US$198 million to government, “which is low”.

“It is therefore important that mining companies should contribute more to the government,” Magande said.

He said a lot of work had already been done towards developing an optimal fiscal and regulatory regime for the mining sector, and he expected to be able to provide a comprehensive statement on the new mining tax regime in the country’s 2008 budget address.

However, he warned the planned optimal fiscal and regulatory regime when implemented might render the current and future development agreements irrelevant.

Zambia’s mineral royalty is pegged at 0.6%, which is said to be one of the lowest in the world, but government intends to increase it to around three percent.

Source: The Times – RSA

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Zambia Sugar Plc has exported over 20,000 tons of sugar to the European Union (EU) out of the expected 30,000 tons for the period April to December 2007, The Post reported Monday.

Corporate affairs manager Lovemore Sievu was quoted by the local newspaper as saying that the company has done well in exports to the EU this year, with hopes of further developing the export market in the short time.

“We have exported over 20,000 of sugar to the EU,” he said in Mazabuka, sugar producing area of the country.

“Most of the sugar being exported went under the fair trade arrangement and this has been on for about a year now,” Sievu said.

Zambia Sugar is in the next few years expected to increase its exports to the EU once its 840 billion kwacha (about 210 million U. S. dollars) expansion project is completed in two years.

The project launched last month is expected to increase the firm’s annual production from the current 246,000 tons to 440,000 tons by 2010, making the largest African producer of sugar after Sudan.

Zambia Sugar is the biggest sugar producing firm in Zambia and earns the country over 30 million U.S. dollars a year in foreign exchange, the biggest non-traditional foreign exchange earner for the country.

Meanwhile, Zambia is expected to produce 280, 000 tons of sugar this year compared to 260,000 tons, Times of Zambia reported Friday.

It quoted Zambia Sugar cooperate affairs manager Lovemore Dievu as saying here Thursday that the company so far has produced more than 212,000 tons out of the expected 255,000 tons during the 2007- 2008 season.

He said Zambia Sugar has crashed and transported 1.6 million tons of cane. The company has an excess of 71,000 tons of sugar in stock, he said.

He contributed the increase to the marginal expansion and de- bottling that is going on at the plantation.

Source: Trading Markets 

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The world does not want to give Africa the credit of establishing the first university. Out of the first five universities, three were on the continent of Africa. Before we could talk about the University of Bologna, Italy (Europe’s first), the University of Paris, France or Cambridge and Oxford of the United Kingdom we had two of our own.

The University of Al-Karaouine was established in 859 AD (approx CE) at Fes in Morocco, Al-Azhar University was established in 989 AD (approx CE) at Cairo, Egypt and the famous University of Timbuktu was established in 1139 AD (approx CE) at Timbuktu in Mali. Timbuktu was actually established after Bologna which was established in 1089 AD (approx CE).

We lag behind all else despite the fact that even the first ever recorded civilizations started in Africa along the Nile River then moved into Mesopotamia, China, Greco-Roman and then the much talked about western civilizations. I guess we don’t seem to take pride in our work and we let others write history for us. The advent of new universities in Zambia needs to be encouraged. For instance our main focus for this week is Northrise University and the above video clip is a testament to Zambian ingenuity and entrepreneurship which must be encouraged by every Zambia loving citizen.

There is great demand for higher education in Zambia because every year nearly 20,000 students who graduate from high school are eligible for a university education but only 1,000 are accepted by UNZA and CBU leaving 19 in 20 without a college education unless they seek it abroad.

Compounded with the fact that 50% of the Zambian population is under the age of 15 years old, there is not only a need for future trained and skilled individuals needed to fill the 21st century job market but also a crisis mode dilemma on what to do with such untapped potential for future economic development.

Northrise University offers degree programs in Information Systems, Business Administration, Agricultural Science and Theology. These courses are offered for both evening and day schedules as can been seen for the fall 2007.

The university was established in 2004 and during its three of operations it has seen a need to reduce operational costs, encourage a Christian Centered learning environment as well as provide the much needed bridge between business as usual with an ethical structure second to none on the Zambian Enterprise scene.

Northrise Campus

In fact some of the world’s best universities were built on that platform. Cambridge in the UK was initially built around strong Judeo-Christian ethics, so was Harvard, Sanford, Texas Christian University – TCU, Yale and Princeton and we see Northrise University following the same steps as an Ivy League college in the few years to come.

classy-daddy-3.gifThe challenge remains for all of us, either to embrace the new university and encourage it to grow and blossom into one of the best in the world or to denigrate it and let others write history on our behalf.

Not so with us here at the Zambian Chronicle, we will encourage and publicize it as much as we can, we will ring bells about it and we encourage others to do the same.

We highly commend both Moffat and Doreen Zimba who are the founders as we wish them God’s speed.

The Zambian government can take the challenge by also complimenting the efforts of the founders with new educational grants, sponsor a School of Agriculture research program under the auspices of the University of Zambia and the like – the list is endless.

That’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.

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LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Newly Africa-focused Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital has launched a stock index covering 11 markets in sub-Saharan Africa, reflecting growing interest in the region, the bank said on Wednesday.

The RC SSA 50 index is made up of 50 equities and represents 62 percent of the total market capitalisation of the domiciled sub-Saharan equity market, at $61.3 billion, Renaissance Capital, also known as RenCap, said in a statement.

The index covers equities in Botswana, the West African regional stock exchange Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Monetaires (BRVM), Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The base date of the index is Jan. 2, 2007, and the total dollar return of the index since inception is 39 percent, compared with a gain of 29 percent in the benchmark MSCI global emerging equity index, the bank said.

Investors have shown an increasing interest in Africa as they search for higher returns within emerging markets, but lack of liquidity remains a deterrent.

RenCap, a 12-year old firm with brokering, private equity and a $4.5 billion asset management business, told Reuters earlier this year it plans to double its $500 million investment into Africa by next year and aims to help African firms raise capital on global markets.

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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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The factors boosting commodity prices such as copper, uranium, gold, cobalt, sugar, etc. are likely to continue, keeping those prices up …

The good times are here to stay in the short to medium term. Sugar is in high demand in the European Union and Nakambala can reap high returns from this. 

The price of gold, South Africa’s biggest export, has surged 16 percent this year, helping to underpin the currency for instance.  Copper has climbed 25 percent, benefiting Zambia, Africa’s biggest producer of the metal.

Overall, Sub-Saharan Africa is benefiting from rising prices of gold, oil and copper, helping the region’s economy expand an estimated 6.8 percent this year, from 5.5 percent last year. The challenge now is for countries like Zambia that are dependent on commodity exports to properly “manage” the commodity boom.

If we respect the truth, then we need to admit that commodity boom phases have not been managed well in the past, and we are at risk of making the same mistakes again. The main factors underpinning commodity prices were strong demand for platinum in devices that cut pollution in cars and rising demand in China and other emerging markets.

Still, commodity prices might drop, hurting growth in some African countries. To assume that current prices and the current boom phase reflects a permanent shift, rather than a temporary opportunity, would be a naive and risky approach to adopt. 

If our analysis is correct, then the slump will come and it will bring with it a significant decline in commodity prices but prudent asset management now would help governments that are diversified enough to transition into manufacturing, construction and service sectors.

 

 

 

However, with norminal GDP rising from $3.24 billion in 2000 to well over $10.71 billion in 2006; per capita GDP income thriving from $303.00  in 2000 to $902.00 in 2006; inflation falling from 26.1% in 2000 to just 9.2% for fiscal year 2006; tourism at its highest peak and a combination of other factors … the Zambian Enterprise is headed for some good times, that’s the memo this week from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion

 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle  

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.  

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.  

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