KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka
ZAMBIA has witnessed increased appetite from investors following the invocation of Article 31 which has assured them that their investments are safe.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe said contrary to assertions by some sectors that the invocation of Article 31 by President Lungu would hurt the economy, the move has boosted appetite from investors expressing interest to invest.
“The proclamation is designed to provide comfort and instil confidence in the economy by assuring the investor community that investments are safe,” she said.
This was during Standard Chartered Bank’s cocktail hosted for the bank’s senior management team from Africa and the Middle East.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said the capital market has not shown any negative reactions since the proclamation.
She also said commodity prices such as mealie-meal have reduced, while the Kwacha has continued to gain strength against major convertible currencies.
The price of a 50kg bag of mealie-meal costs less than K60 in some outlets, from as high as K120 about three months ago.
The Kwacha is trading at an average of K8.7 per US dollar, appreciating from about K14 in 2015.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said increased powers given to the police are not aimed at frustrating business operations but to secure the safety of the nation.
She said Government will continue to facilitate economic growth by creating an enabling environment for businesses.
Mrs Mwanakatwe hailed Standard Chartered Bank for its commitment to supporting growth sectors, citing the financing of hydro-power stations under the US$60 million USAID Power Africa Initiative, as one of the projects.
Standard Chartered Bank chief executive officer Herman Kasekende pledged continued support to key sectors such as mining, energy and telecommunications.
At the same occasion, chief executive officer for Africa and the Middle East Sunil Kaushal said Africa remains a key market for the bank owing to its economic transition.
President Lungu, on July 5, invoked Article 31 of the Constitution to give more powers to police to stop the country’s slide into lawlessness.
This followed a spate of fires on and damage to public institutions around the country, culminating into the burning of the country’s biggest market, Lusaka City Market.