Government says Zambia has made notable progress in attracting investment specifically in the manufacturing and processing sector.
Speaking in Lusaka today Ministry of Commerce and Trade Permanent Secretary Siazongo Siakalenge said the manufacturing sector accounts for eleven percent of the country’s gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr Siakalenge said this in a speech read for him by his Deputy Director, Foreign Trade, Kabamba Mwananshiku during a knowledge sharing program on the cassava sub-sector.
Mr Siakalenge said growth in the sector is driven by the agro processing textiles and leather subsectors.
The permanent secretary said this also includes secondary processing of metals like smelting and refining of copper , which had led to the manufacturing of metal products.
Mr Siakalenge said fertilisers, chemicals, explosives and construction materials such as cement are also produced in the sector.
He said the the manufacturing sector also contributes to employment creation and thus the two sectors contribute significantly to food security, income generation and poverty reduction.
Mr Siakalenge noted that the COMESA and IITA programme support government’s vision to transform the agriculture sector from a peasantry farming system to a well-established commercial agricultural undertaking through improved productivity and market access.
Speaking earlier COMESA Director for Investment Production and Private Sector Development Thiery Kalonji said the purpose of the meeting was to promote value addition and facilitate market linkages between cassava SMEs and large manufacturing companies that utilize cassava starch, chips and flour in their production.
He said COMESA Secretariat has in the last years been working to promote the formation of national and regional SME clusters in cassava sector.
Mr Kalonji said Cassava plays a pivotal role in economic and social development through contribution to employment, food security and economic growth.