Business

IDC, Japanese firm sign textile deal

VIOLET MENGO, Nairobi
THE Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Marubeni, a Japanese textile company, have signed a memorandum of understanding to rehabilitate Mulungushi Textiles Limited in Kabwe.
IDC executive director of operations Paul Siame said here on Sunday shortly after the signing ceremony that the memoradum of understanding (MoU) will also set ground for Zambia to buy equipment from Japan to revamp the plant.
With the MoU in place and under the umbrella of Tokyo International Conference on African Development, the IDC expects to access financing to support the running of the Mulungushi Textiles project.
The deal follows the re-commissioning of Mulungushi Textiles by President Lungu in October 2015.
“One key component that will come out of the partnership with Marubeni is setting up of cotton out-grower scheme as announced by President Lungu during the re-opening. The out-grower scheme is expected to support at least 10,000 farmers within Central Province,” Mr Siame said.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo with several other African government officials and private sector companies.
He said IDC is in the next two months expected to conclude the detailed project concept that includes costing, which is expected to accelerate the engagement with Marubeni would enable IDC access finances through Japanese Bank for International Cooperation.
Mr Siame said the revamping of the textiles company is a huge step especially that Government’s agenda is industrialisation and job creation.
It is expected that the out-grower scheme will support about 10,000 farmers within the whole cotton value chain.
Earlier this month, President Lungu re-opened Mulungushi Textiles’ which is expected to 20,000 jobs and support small-scale farmer in Kabwe, Kapiri Mposhi, Chibombo, Chisamba and Ngabwe under an out-grower scheme.
In 2007, over 1,000 employees were left jobless after the closure of the factory due to financial constraints.

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