Peter Munk owner of Lumwana Mine and
Chairman of Barrick Gold with Zambia's
High Commissioner to Zambia Dr. Nevers Mumba
at the Marriot Hotel in Toronto
Zambia’s High Commissioner to Canada Dr. Nevers Mumba, says Zambia’s ability to resolve and respect the norms of democracy has shown the World that the country has the ability to provide policies that respect the rule of law.
Officially opening the Zambia – Canada Business Forum which attracted about 60 Canadian investors, in Toronto, Dr. Mumba assured the Canadian Business community that their Investments were still safe in Zambia.
He observed that Zambians had shown the world that the country had the ability to transfer power smoothly, a sign that demonstrated maturity in democratic governance.
“For the fifth time, Zambia has shown the world that an African country has the ability to transition in dignity and respect for both the victor and the vanquished,” he stressed.
He said it was this unique character of Zambia that makes it the finest destination for any investor and that the political stability provided a comfort and peace of mind for any investor.
He said Zambia were now determined to further develop the country into a truly prosperous nation of the 21st century as a result of peace that exists among Zambians.
Dr. Mumba emphasized, “There is a new lease of energy and hope amongst the Zambian people and we are determined to ride on this enthusiasm.”
He said he was aware of the fact that several Canadian investors had expressed great anxiety as to how the new administration of President Michael C. Sata would relate to the Canadian Investment community.
He assured the investors that the new President was one of the most experienced politician who served as a public servant all his life for a long time.
He said President Michael Sata fought for office of President using democratic means and that although he had opportunities to cause unrest in the country, he more than many Zambians the significance of maintaining peace and adhering to democratic norms,” he added.
Dr. Mumba further quoted President Michael Sata last Friday when he specifically addresses foreign investment in the country.
He noted the President said that,”Foreign Investment is important to Zambia and we will continue to work with foreign investors who are in the country,” end of quote.
Dr. Mumba also said that the former Zambian President Mr. Rupiah Banda who graciously conceded defeat in the recently held elections last week had secured himself a place on the list of respected statesmen in African politics.
Former President Banda had said “The people of Zambia had spoken and we must. Now is not time for violence and retribution but time to unite and build tomorrow’s Zambia together.”
“This, Dr Mumba said, “is the Zambia I wish for the investors and the world to see and know.
We are committed to the respect of the rule of law and it is these values that shall protect your investments.”
It was against this background that Dr. Mumba urged for more Canadian companies to invest in Zambia particularly in sectors such as agriculture, tourism, energy, manufacturing, infrastructure and ICT.
He told his audience that currently there were more than 200 Canadian companies that were doing business in Zambia and that out of this number only 41 were officially registered with the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and that these enjoyed fiscal and non fiscal benefits offered by the country.
Dr. Mumba stated that Zambia had been assigned a sovereign credit rating of B plus by Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor an indication of the country’s creditworthiness.
He also added that the World Bank also reclassified the country as a Low Middle Income country, a development that has been seen as a booster to economic development.
“The reclassification will lead to more investments which will stimulate growth in major sectors of the country,” he added.
In his presentation, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Barrick Gold, Mr. Peter Munk congratulated President Sata on his election win as Zambia’s fifth President.
He said the victory had proved that Zambia was able to rise above political differences in order to safeguard peace.
Mr. Munk whose company Barrick Gold has invested $7.8 billion in Zambia, the largest investment in any African country.
He said Zambians deserved to be congratulated for providing policies that protect investors such as good governance, the rule of law, transparency and most of all peace.
He urged the new government to attract major companies that would create employment, develop the country and raise the living standards for their citizens.
Mr. Munk said his company will continue to invest in Zambia as long as good governance issues were preserved.
“We are looking forward to be your ambassadors in the global economy,” he said.
Earlier, Mr. Henry Sakala, the Acting Director – Investments, Promotion and Privatisation at the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) made a presentation of Zambia As An Attractive Destination.
Zambia was presented as an attractive investment destination by the Canadian Council on Africa (CCA) and two private businessmen from Zambia. The presentation made by Mr. Francis Chola Mutati, Managing Director of Tec-Trade Limited and Mr. Joseph Mbazzi Director of Projects at Plinth Technical Works Limited were good practical testimonies to some of the competitive advantage that Zambia offers.
The Investment Forum moves to Ottawa on 30th September.
This is contained is press statement released by Press Secretary at the Zambian High Commission in Canada, Ben Kangwa