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Great Lakes Summit Proposed

Republic of Zambia


Wednesday, 7 August, 2019 – Zambia’s Finance Minister Dr. BWALYA NG’ANDU and his Rwandese counterpart Dr. UZZIEL NDAGIJIMANA have said Africa’s Great Lakes Region need a business summit that will tackle the optimization of economic and business prospects among member countries.

The two Ministers acknowledged that in order to strengthen economic integration, a business summit for the private sector and governments in the African Great Lakes Region, is required. The region is made up of countries such as Burundi, DR Congo, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.

This came to light during a bilateral meeting between Dr. Ng’andu and Dr. Ndigijimana held at the Ministry of Finance Headquarters in Lusaka, this afternoon.

At the same meeting, Dr. Ng’andu took the opportunity to state that Zambia had adopted a new approach to development and will now be focusing more on policy implementation and achievement of results.

Dr. Ng’andu has also affirmed that through the participation of the private sector and the support of other development partners, Zambia was keen to promote trade in the African Great Lakes Region by redeveloping Mpulungu Harbour and creating a fast route for bulk exports in produce such as cement, cane sugar and other agriculture products.

The Zambian Minister of Finance stated further that to ensure the harbour does not become a white elephant once redeveloped, the private sector will be expected to establish a functional water transport and logistics chain to ensure that there is improved movement of goods and persons between Zambia and the rest of the Great Lakes Region.

“Successful regional integration will require the strengthening of trade linkages through solid infrastructure, effective connectivity, and a clear understanding of the best prospects of each member country,” said Dr. Ng’andu, and he added that, “this then will help us to promote intra-regional trade.”

Meanwhile Dr. Ngagijimana has stated that logistical connectivity in Africa needs improvement in order to bring down the cost of doing business and improve continental trade.

Dr. Ngagijimana briefed his Zambian counterpart that the introduction of a national airline in Rwanda has had a positive impact on export facilitation, international travel, and both their traditional and conference tourism.

Dr. Ndagijimana is in Zambia to attend the joint launch of the Southern African Regional Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) Center of Excellence, at an event to be held at Mulungushi International Conference Center, in Lusaka. Zambia’s Republican President Dr. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU and his Rwandese Counterpart, PAUL KAGAME, will officiate at the launch event.

Issued by:

Chileshe Kandeta