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Zambia has strong economic potential – US ambassador


A SENIOR United States government official has said despite the economic difficulties Zambia is facing, the long-term potential remains strong.
US ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz said Zambia’s strong tourism potential can contribute to employment creation and foreign currency inflows.
He said in a statement availed to the Daily Mail on Friday that when Zambia is experiencing an economic downturn, It is time to diversify from overreliance on mining in general, and copper in particular, towards sectors like tourism.
“Zambia is experiencing difficult economic times at the moment and yet to my mind the country’s long-term economic potential remains strong. One area that I have long argued has great promise is tourism, which can be an important source of employment, economic growth, and foreign exchange,” he said.
He, however, said Zambia’s tourism is inextricably linked with its conservation of its wildlife, which is what the tourists come to see and in this regard, there is reason for optimism, given recent developments.
Mr Schultz said a lot of exciting developments have happened in Zambia’s wildlife sector over the past few months.
He said Government, scientists, and non-governmental organisations have been working together to refine the draft of a new national wildlife policy, as well as the dissolution of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) to become the Department of National Parks and Wildlife under the Ministry of Tourism and Arts.
He also said Zambia has the opportunity to strengthen the production and sale of legal bush meat through new legislation, providing a better way for communities to earn income and at the same time helping to preserve the country’s wildlife.
Mr Schultz said for the legal bush meat trade to flourish, Zambia needs strong incentives for private sector investment in game management areas, such as longer-term leases and private ownership of wildlife, which will allow the game ranching industry scope to grow.

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