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Development partners back Zim-Zambia joint industrialisation project

Development partners back Zim-Zambia joint industrialisation project

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

THE Zimbabwe – Zambia Joint Industrialisation Agenda to set up a Common Agro-Industrial Park has received the backing of development partners.

An engagement held over two days in Harare to review the progress of the proposed project after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the two countries in 2021, created a platform to assess financial requirements, technical support, and implementation roadmap.

It also emerged that the Agro-Industrial Park which will be partially located on each side of the two countries will focus on processing value chains like cotton, wheat, maize, rice sugar, livestock, and dairy, among others.

Zimbabwe and Zambia government representatives were given assurance of maximum support by development partners.

“We are ready to fund the project as UNECA we have done our own assessments, identifying the key requirements and how we can tap into the project, taking into account the socio-economic benefits, so we stay on course to support the project because this meeting has also given us a chance to meet Government representatives further and chart the way forward,” said United Nations Economic Commission of Africa, Economic Affairs Officer, Regional Integration and Trade Division, Dr Medhat El- Helping.

“As COMESA, we remain committed to funding this project, this is the first of its kind in Africa, so the idea is to create a mega industrial hub that will be able to push for more production in line with the dictates of the African Continental Free Trade Area, so in this project, we are developing regional value chains on maize and dairy,” said Value Chain Expert at COMESA, Mr Pardon Njerere.

The proposed industrial park is also expected to boost the country’s industrialisation drive whose key thrust is to increase the regional export market share.