Economist Oliver Saasa has observed that one reason Zambia has enjoyed phenomenon growth in Foreign Direct Investment is the stable political environment and the peace the country has enjoyed over the last 50 years.
Prof Saasa stressed that political stability and peace are the catalyst for FDI not only in the productive sectors but in other sectors like tourism.
He told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka today that no tourist would want to visit a country that has an unstable political environment and lack of peace as their safety may not be guaranteed.
The renowned economist stated that it is imperative, therefore, that political players and the general public ensure that peace and political stability are maintained even when the country is experiencing power transition following the death of late President Michael Sata.
He said the last thing anyone in the country should think of is to disturb the peace the country is currently enjoying as doing so could have dire consequences on the growth and development of the nation.
Prof Saasa said stability on the political scene is not only important in maintaining the economy on its good growth path but to also ensure that there is a smooth transition of power.
He said Zambia has been a haven of peace and an example to many African states, saying this image needs to be preserved for the good of the nation.
Prof Saasa expressed happiness that the internal political strife that had gripped the ruling Patriotic Front had been stabilised, noting that all indications suggest that it may not happen again.
He said if the country mishandles its political situation it risks losing FDIs as investors may get apprehensive and withdraw their investment in the country.
Prof Saasa has since appealed to all political leaders in the PF to ensure that they preserve the good image of the country by desisting from engaging in unnecessary confrontations that may jeopardise the growth of the country’s economy.
He urged PF leadership to emulate opposition political parties that have shown exemplary behaviour during the mourning period of late President Sata by remaining positive and desisting from trying to gain political mileage out of the death of the former Head of State.
He also called on whoever will succeed President Sata not to disturb the current policy direction the country has taken which may confuse investors.