KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT says Zambia has the ability to manufacture quality products that can compete on the international market and promote economic empowerment that is directly linked to a robust manufacturing industry.
Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Given Lubinda said manufacturing is a critical tool to economic development, as it provides focus for stimulating growth in related sectors of the economy.
Mr Lubinda said in an interview on the side-lines of the official opening of the Oriental Builders Mart showroom by Scirocco Enterprise Limited that the sector has the potential to contribute immensely to the countryâ€™s gross domestic product.
He said Government is ready to work with various manufacturing firms to ensure quality products are produced in the country.
Mr Lubinda called on Zambians to improve on work efficiency which is one of the major components that most people lack, saying the negative attitude towards work has negatively affected the development of the manufacturing and other sectors.
â€œWe have the ability in Zambia to produce goods that can be exported and compete favourably on the international market, but one of the challenges that we face is the levels of productivity. There is need to improve on attitude and efficiency towards work if the country is to prosper in various sectors off the economy,â€ he said.
He said the manufacturing sector if well-developed is able to create thousands of jobs and reduce poverty levels in the country.
Earlier, Scirocco Enterprise Limited managing director Moustafa Saadi said it is important for manufacturing firms to produce quality products for them to compete favourably.
Mr Saadi said Scirocco Enterprise has invested about US$45 million in the manufacturing of windows and ceilings among others, and that it will further invest more in its business line expansion.
Currently, Scirocco Enterprises, which has a 30-year history in the construction materials business in Zambia, employs about 1,000 people.
KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka