Wednesday, 1 September 2010


President Banda
COMESA Countries
His Excellency President Rupiah Banda returned today from the 14th Annual COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) Summit in Swaziland.
President Banda said, “It is hugely important for Zambia to maintain good trade links with other countries in the region and the world.  By improving trade we will encourage foreign investment in Zambia and develop new markets for our products and crops, bringing more jobs and prosperity to all Zambians.”
Over the last few years of President Banda’s rule, Zambia has attracted nearly US$6bn of investment, expected to create over 103, 000 jobs, including those in the fields of electronics, alternative energy and telecommunications.  This follows President Banda’s 2008 pledge to turn Zambia into a regional hub; last week’s opening of the Zambia-Malawi railway line was just one of the recent successes of this plan.
The theme of the COMESA Summit is ‘Harnessing Science and Technology for Development’. Zambia is currently working to improve its telecommunications services, seen in the recent privatization of the Zamtel telephone network, to improve business conditions and development across the country. This has delivered a 70% reduction in call costs, new jobs and greater investment in Zambia.
The President held numerous discussions with other heads of state during the Summit, with the aim of enhancing economic stability and prosperity in Zambia and the region. He took part in debates about trade with the European Union, and called for increasing cooperation with the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community, of which Zambia is a key member.
COMESA was formed in 1994 as a trading bloc; it currently has a membership of 19 countries with a combined population of more than 400 million people. The aim of the organisation is to achieve sustainable economic prosperity through regional integration. Other members include DRC, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
This is contained in a press statement released in Lusaka tonight by the Special Assistant to The President  for Press and Public Relations, Dickson Jere

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