President Hakainde Hichilema, has concluded his four days engagements in Cape Town, South Africa where he also attended the 2022 Investing in African Mining Indaba.
While at the Indaba President Hichilema who was one of the key speakers, called on the African leaders to put in place deliberate efforts to ensure that there is sustainable development and management of natural resources.
He said the African continent is blessed with vast mineral resources that are key drivers of development in most countries.
The Head of State also held bilateral talks with Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi and South Africa’s Cyrill Ramaphosa.
During the separate meetings with his counterparts, President Hichilema stressed the need for enhancing the bilateral relations that Zambia enjoys with each of the two countries.
He cited mining, agriculture, infrastructure, education, health and livestock as some of the sectors that need close collaborations to attain development.
The President also engaged with investors and the private sector with the aim of attracting more investment to the country’s economy.
Some of the people he met include, Stanbic Bank and Standard Bank of South Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, the Extractive Industry Transparency International (EITI) among others.
President Hichilema also toured the Zambian pavilion at the Indaba to appreciate the different services that Zambian companies which were exhibiting were offering.
Speaking when he visited the ZANACO stand, ZANACO Chief Executive Officer Mukwandi Chibesakunda pledged the banks’ continued support to offer sustainable and affordable financial packages to the mining sector.
Ms. Chibesakunda explained that ZANACO is committed to work with government in improving access to finance especially among small scale businesses.
President Hichilema has since returned to Zambia.
Earlier, President Hakainde Hichilema held bilateral talks with President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi on the sidelines of 2022 investing in African Mining Indaba and the two leaders discussed how their countries can enhance relationship in different sectors of the economy.
The talks which lasted for more than an hour, were also centered on how Zambia and Botswana can collaborate in enhancing value addition to the raw materials found within their localities.
The two Heads of State also talked about how the two countries can work together in exploring the various potential that they have in other sectors of the economy such as agriculture, livestock, education, health and mining.
Speaking in an interview with journalists after the meeting in Cape Town, South Africa today, President Masisi commended the continued cordial relations that exist between the two countries.
” We want our two countries to continue enjoying and utilizing this relationship that we have built for a long time and we also want to take advantage of it to collaborate in key economic sectors, if anything we want to even build on it and strength it further,” he said.
Dr. Masisi said Botswana has a lot to learn from Zambia hence the need for the two countries to work together.
He further praised his Zambian counterpart, President Hichilema for the decision his has taken to consider the idea of manufacturing electrical batteries that can be used in electric vehicles.
Dr. Masisi explained that it is encouraging to see that Zambia, is taking progressive steps towards utilizing its natural resource which is copper into finished products.
“Am happy for you my brother, especially the idea of making electric batteries which you announced last month, it is very good, we need to start looking into the direction of adding value to our local raw materials,” he said.
He also noted that the other area in which he wants to personally learn from President Hichilema is how he has managed to run his livestock farming for a long time.
“I know my brother here, is a big livestock farmer, I personally would like to learn how he has managed to run it so well, am new in that area so I will learn a lot from him,” he stressed.
And President Hichilema also praised the continued strong ties existing between the two countries and called for further strengthened relations.
The President further said there is need for Zambia and Botswana to come up with strict measures that will ensure the two countries effectively benefit from the relationship.
He also added that Zambia too, has a lot to learn from Botswana, in different areas of economic development that can consequently benefit the people in the two countries.
President Hichilema however, expressed concern that for the relations between the countries to be fruitful, there is need for the continent to remain peaceful at all times.
He stated that instability in one country, is instability everywhere and is a barrier to maintaining the cordial relations that have been achieved by many countries so far.
“I agree with my brother, we need to work together in many areas to strengthen our relationship further, but most importantly, as I have always said there is need for peace in all countries across our region, I believe instability in one country is instability everywhere,” said.