Oliver Kazunga, Acting Business Editor
ZIMBABWE and Zambia are planning a joint industrialisation programme building on the experiences and lessons from the existing collaborative ventures.
The planned joint industrialisation programme by the two neighbouring countries will be anchored on the support from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).
Comesa Industry and Agriculture division officer in charge Mr Innocent Makwiramiti revealed that the two countries recently held a meeting on the roadmap for the joint industrialisation co-operation programme.
“The co-operation in industrialisation will enable the two countries to harness comparative advantages from their diverse natural resources and synergies in resources utilisation, improve the competitiveness and reap the benefits of economies of scale,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by Comesa.
The 1st technical meeting to actualise the co-operation was held in Lusaka in November last year and was attended by officials from the two countries’ ministries of responsible for industry and commerce as well as representatives from the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Lusaka, Comesa secretariat, head of the Rural Economy division at the African Union Dr Janet Edeme as an observer.
At present, the two countries are already co-operating in a number of sectors for structural and economic transformation since the federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
These include the joint power generation at Kariba Dam, the proposed Batoka hydroelectric power station and the joint tourism programme for the Victoria Falls among others.
The planned Batoka hydroelectric power project is being consummated by Zimbabwe and Zambia at an estimated cost of US$4 billion for the development of 2 400MW which will be shared equally by the two countries.
Zimbabwe and Zambia have prioritised industrialisation in their National Development Plans as a critical engine for driving their economic development and growth.
The two countries also have industrialisation strategies which are aligned to the Comesa and Sadc regional industrialisation policy and strategies. — @okazunga