I spent three days trekking to and from Chisamba, attending the AGRITECH EXPO 2017.
Zambians from all walks of life, in their large numbers, flocked to Chisamba.
Their determination and hunger for success was visible. As a
patriotic Zambian and believer in the dictum that local is lekker, I hopped from one stand to another, and searched in vain for a sign of anything having to do with Zambian ownership or Zambian success story.
As I interacted with the exhibitors, I noticed that the only thing Zambian was labour. The rest was mostly foreign owned, and a few others owned by Zambians of foreign origin.
After doing my investigations, I was shocked that even the mobile toilets the delegates were using came all the way from South Africa.
The event, though under the banner of ZNFU, a South African company was awarded the tender to organise the expo.
The smallest exhibition space was costing US$2,500 and the largest was US$5,000 and we had about 250 exhibitors. These dollars are warming the South African economy instead of Zambia.
This is the indignity of our Zambian economy, especially in terms of structural deficiencies and ownership patterns.
Zambians essentially remain petty participants. How then do we reduce capital flight and domesticate our wealth?
Many countries including South Africa, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Zimbabwe are supporting their people and firms penetrate the Zambian market with their agricultural innovations.
It is simply no longer good enough to recite a list of petty delivery achievements, when upward mobility of Zambians in terms of ownership and economic relations remains unattended to.