KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka
ZAMBIA is among 10 African countries in discussion with Belarus on trade opportunities worth US$420 million, which will go a long way in accelerating relations between the continent and that country.
Afrexim Bank president Benedict Oramah said negotiations between the government of Belarus and entities in Zambia, Senegal, Togo , Cote d’ Ivoire, Nigeria, Gambia, Chad and Sierra Leone have advanced.
Other countries are South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Dr Oramah said the negotiations with Zambia are in the supply of mining and agricultural equipment, which remain key in the agriculture transformation and acceleration of mining.
“The government of Belarus has worked with us to expand trade between Africa and Belarus. Negotiations are well advanced with entities for trade exchanges valued at over US$420 million,” he said.
He also said discussions have advanced for the assembly of Belarusian tractors and trucks in a number of African markets although he did not state which countries.
On Agriculture productivity, Dr Oramah said the continent needs a sound agriculture sector, with mechanisation being a key driver in boosting the sector.
He said with the continent having limited capacity in the production of tractors and other agricultural equipment, partnering with Belarus will help in unlocking productivity.
“Belarus boasts of expertise to support Africa’s industrialisation drive and can be a market for semi-processed commodities. Together with Belarus, Africa can build viable supply chains drawing on relative comparative advantages,” he said.