The Africa Development Bank (ADB) has described Zambia as a destination of choice for investors due to its sound and professional approach to economic policies that it presents around the continent.
ADB Vice-president Cecilia Akintomide has observed that the conducive investment atmosphere in the country provides an opportunity for Zambia to lure investors into the country.
Dr. Akintomide was speaking during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Ministry of Finance yesterday between the ADB and Zambia to host the 2016 ADB annual meeting.
Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba signed on behalf of the Zambian Government while Dr. Akintomide signed on behalf of ADB.
The annual meeting will be held between 23rd and 27th May, 2016 and is expected to attract about 4000 delegates from 80 member states from all over the continent.
She said her bank had a long standing relationship with Zambia, hence its commitment to allow the country host its annual meeting for the second time.
She observed that Zambia’s strides in achieving real sound economic gain were as a result of good policy direction which had made it a good destination for major events such as the ADB annual meeting.
She observed that such meetings would in turn provide an opportunity for Zambian businesses to exploit their potential.
“This is the second time am coming to Zambia since 1972 and I must say that am very impressed with this country; not only because of the warmth of the people, but the professionalism that is exhibited by the Zambians. This is the reason as to why the ADB is pleased to be associated with this country. We also recognise the sound economic policies of this country, which present a great investment opportunity,” Dr. Akintomide said.
She also observed that the ADB meeting in Zambia will enable local investors to exploit investment opportunities that delegates would present as their services would be required.
“We will have about 4000 delegates in this country and I challenge the business community in Zambia to take advantage of this big investment opportunity because they will need accommodation, food and transport which the locals will provide.
“I must say that am very impressed with some of the places I have visited while here such as hotels and conference centres. I know that other structures are under construction. We urge them to finish in time to that they can be ready for usage by the time the meeting will take place,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mr Yamba has assured ADB that Government had put in place programmes that would ensure that the meeting was successfully hosted according to the expectation of the delegates that would be visiting the country.
He said Government had already put in place an inter-ministrial committee comprising such as the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, and Ministry of Home Affairs, among others.
Mr Yamba also explained that a sub-committee of permanent secretaries from responsible ministries was also in place to make ensure that planning was done ahead of time.
He also said Government was happy to be considered to hold such a high-profile meeting for the second time since 1972.
“It is a great honour for the bank to give us another opportunity to host this meeting for the second time since 1972. We are re-affirming our commitment to ensure that the event becomes a success and we will always work together with the bank to ensure that our preparation is on course,” Dr. Yamba said.
And Dr. Yamba praised ADB for its continued support to the government of Zambia in various projects of economic development which he said would go a long way in improving the standards and quality of life in the country.
He noted the bank’s assistance in the agriculture, road and energy sectors had helped the Zambian government in improving the standards of the people.