ALVIN CHIINGA, Lusaka
VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina has called for the manufacturing of medical equipment and products locally.
And Mrs Wina says Government is looking forward to furthering co-operation with France.
Speaking when she received a donation of medical equipment from OK Investments in Lusaka yesterday, she said it was time Zambians considered manufacturing medical products to save resources spent on imports.
â€œIf we can manufacture such products locally, then it would mean that Government would cut down on costs of importing the same products,â€ she said.
The donation from OK Investments is worth over K178,000.
Mrs Wina urged private companies to take care of communities in which they operate by initiating corporate social responsibility (CRS) programmes.
She said ministries that are aligned with the health sector should help identify areas where the donated items will be distributed.
OK Investments chairman Jun Zhang said that his organisation has been involved in charitable activities since it was set up five years ago.
Mr Jun is hopeful that the donation will further strengthen the relations between Zambia and China, and also help improve health services offered to the locals.
Some of the equipment will be used in high-cost wards, intensive care unit, gynaecology and obstetrics, paediatrics, out-patient and rehabilitation services.
And speaking later when French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Segolene Royal paid a courtesy call on her, Mrs Wina called for enhanced bilateral relations.
She said France and Zambia celebrate a lot of issues together such as human rights and security matters.
Mrs Wina said Government is grateful to France for showing confidence in Zambia and that the French people are welcome to invest in Zambia.
She said Zambia is grateful that France is helping cushion the adverse effects of climate change.
Mrs Royal said France is committed to upholding the bilateral relations between the two countries.
She said France would continue to work together with Africa in areas of protection of water resources.
Mrs Royal also said France is ready to develop solar energy programmes in Zambia, adding that there is a close link between energy and development.
ALVIN CHIINGA, Lusaka