Editor's Comment

Zambia should learn from Egypt

LUSAKA Zambia.

THE two-day working visit by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has come at a time when economic diversification has become the buzz word in Zambia.
President El-Sisi, who leads one of the most diversified economies in the Middle East, is scheduled to arrive today at the invitation of President Edgar Lungu.
President El-Sisi is coming to Zambia wearing two hats as he is also the head of the African Union.
The Egyptian leader was elected chair of the 55-member pan- African body after Rwandan President Paul Kagame stepped aside in February.
There is a lot more that Zambia can learn from Egypt than what has been learnt in the over 50 years of bilateral ties. Here is why:
With 99,375,741 million people, making it one of Africa’s most populous nations, Egypt is one of the most diversified economies in Africa.
Its Sinai Peninsula acts as a land bridge in Southwest Asia. This makes Egypt a transcontinental country. Egypt is a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Islamic world.
Egypt is a very strategic country within Africa-Arab framework as it brokers with the rest. It is as big political powerhouse globally and more so in the Middle East.
At AU level, Egypt is one of the big five in terms of financial contribution to the continental body’s budget.
Half of the country’s 99 million people live in urban areas, the largest of which are Cairo and Alexandria.
The Egyptian economy thrives on tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, and service at almost equal rates in productions.
The Egyptian economy is developing due to stability, trade, market liberalisation, and law, encouraging investment.
Yet, the larger part of Egypt is covered by the desert.
Egypt’s deserts encompass regions on either side of the Nile, covering more than 90 percent of the country’s land surface.
As a result, most of the people live near the Nile River’s banks, which have fertile agricultural land.
All this provides a good foundation for Zambia to learn from Egypt.
President Sisi’s visit is an opportunity for the two countries which have enjoyed bilateral relations since 1966, to explore more areas of collaboration.
Zambia and Egypt have common areas of cooperation, with the Zambia–Egypt farm at Mwembeshi Correctional Facility being one of the perfect examples.
Zambia and Egypt are sharing agricultural information which is being implemented at Mwembeshi.
Every year, Egyptian business people come to Zambia for trade exhibitions.
Two months ago, there was a high-profile Egyptian trade delegation which was in the country seeking partnerships with their Zambian counterparts.
Currently, Egyptians have invested in almost every economic sector of the country such as agriculture, construction, energy, health, ICTs, manufacturing, service, and tourism, with a sum of pledged investment standing at US$48,076,738.
Given Egypt’s profile in global affairs, President El-Sisi’s visit should help raise the country’s profile further as focus will be on Lusaka over the next two days.
Zambia’s premium is to learn as much as it can, especially in light of the drought that is devastating some parts of the country and the fact that it is endowed with vast natural wealth.
Zambia has all manner of natural resources from minerals such as copper, emeralds, cobalt to waterfalls, wildlife, fertile soils, while holding 40 percent of the water resources in the entire Southern African Development Community.
Zambia, too, should be making money from almost anything like Egypt does for the benefit of its citizens.

Facebook Feed