Japan pledges to invest in energy sector

JAPAN has pledged to invest in the energy sector in Zambia to help the country have sustainable energy resource and ameliorate the power deficit that has hit the country, leading to serious economic challenges.

The Japanese government has also pledged to financially support Zambia in the implementation of her economic policies with President Edgar Lungu assuring that Zambia would remain an investment destination of choice.

President Lungu said foreign investment in Zambia was safe as his Government would endeavour to protect private business because the sector was a major driving force in the expansion of its economy.

President Lungu explained that Government was working to have the country be energy secure and it was therefore desirable that there was as much investment as possible.

The Head of State said this when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s special envoy Hitoshi Kikawada called on him at State House yesterday.

Mr Kikawada is Japanese Parliamentary vice-minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was leading a delegation which included Kazuya Endo who is the United Nations (UN) policy division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Masato Sagisaka, deputy director for the UN Policy Division and Kiyoshi Koinuma who is ambassador extraordinary and plenpotentially to Zambia.

The President and Mr Kikawada also discussed the reforms of the United Nations (UN) Security Council and the Head of State told the Japanese special envoy that Zambia was standing with the African position of reforming the council.

Japan has also officially invited President Lungu to attend the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICA) to be held in Kenya in March next year.

“You are welcome to Zambia and I can assure you that your investment is safe in the country. We would like you to explore our investment opportunities particularly in the energy sector. We are happy that Japan has made a commitment to invest in the energy sector and you have also pledged to give financial assistance to Zambia to help the implementation of our economic policy,” President Lungu said.

And Mr Kikawada said Zambia was facing a number of challenges in her development agenda and that Japan was willing to financially support the country in the implementation of its economic policy.

Mr Kikawada said Japan was ready to invest in research in the energy sector so that there could be stability in the sector that has over months suffered from critical deficit of electricity.

He told President Lungu that it was important for Zambia to explore any other possibilities of how Japan could help the country in its development agenda.

Mr Kikawada said he had brought an invitation letter to President Lungu from Prime Minister Mr Abe to attend the Tokyo International Conference on African Development stating that the economic growth of Africa was growth for the world.