Editor's Comment

Destination Zambia

LUSAKA City.

THE revelation that Lusaka is the most affordable city in the world should be seen as a positive development for encouraging tourist arrivals and foreign investment.
For the locals, Lusaka might be expensive but at a time when Zambia is in need of investment to boost the economy, there is cause to be confident that the country still has the ability to attract investment and international conferences.
Countries host a number of international conferences on an annual basis and with Lusaka being the cheapest, Government institutions and private organisations should seize this opportunity and push their bids.
Lusaka has on several occasions hosted international conferences but with this news in mind, we have a tool to tout to the world that Zambia is the destination.
International conferences have the potential to contribute towards a host country’s economy and this is one the reasons nationals bid for their countries.
A survey carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Lusaka as the cheapest city while Singapore is the most expensive place ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong, Geneva and Paris.
The expense in these cities of the world is compared to the cost of living in New York and among the prices are the cost of food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.
This survey comes at a time when we are talking of diversifying our economy from mining to agriculture and tourism. And this is where our point lays.
This revelation presents an opportunity to the Zambia Tourism Board and all well-meaning Zambians to flash destination Zambia to the outside world, because here, visitors will surely have their money’s worth.
The survey is a purpose-built internet tool designed to help human resources and finance managers calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travellers.
But this notwithstanding, we know that tourism has the potential to earn the country thousands of money for development purposes this makes it imperative for us as Zambians to focus on this sector.
For those who wish to set up business entities in Zambia, the survey shows that their costs would be lower here than if they chose to set up base, say, in Luanda.
Despite this opportunity, we Government to continue scrutnising investors. In their quest to make quick money, they take advantage of Government policies and once they have made their money, they ‘liquidate’ themselves.
Zambia is looking for investors who will contribute to economic growth by setting up lifetime investments that will also create permanent jobs for the local people.
The cheaper cost of living in Zambia does not mean that the country becomes a dumping ground. We believe that Government has in place policies to guard against such practices.
We also want to urge Government to support those that bid for hosting international conferences by giving them some incentives that would ultimately make it attractive for Zambia as the conference destination.

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