ZDA Must Help Transform Economy

THE Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) is a critical entity in fostering economic growth and national development through the promotion of trade and investment in the country.

The agency is tasked with the efficient and effective coordination of the private sector-led economic development strategy in the country.

A creature of Act number 11 of 2006, the ZDA became operational in 2007 following the amalgamation of five statutory bodies.

The five bodies, which previously operated independent of each other, were the Zambia Investment Centre, Zambia Privatisation Agency, Export Board of Zambia, Small Enterprise Development and Zambia Export Processing Zones Authority.

Just from the way it was conceived, it is clear to note the important slot the entity occupies in the national development mix and its row therein.

Given that indisputable fact, it is vital that the organisation continues to be run by credible and highly qualified individuals with known reputation in corporate governance and leadership.

We are, therefore, relieved that the ZDA Board of Directors has caught another big fish to fill up the position of director general which has, since the amalgamation, been occupied by yet another eminently qualified Zambian, Mr Andrew Chipwende.

In appointing Mr Patrick Chisanga, an internationally-acclaimed corporate governance practitioner and consultant, as the new director general, the Board has raised the bar for the agency and the Zambians expect better performance.

Just like the Board stated, we have no reason to doubt that, under Mr Chisanga’s reign, ZDA would rise to greater heights in marketing Zambia’s potential and harnessing the existing investments for the betterment of all.

We agree with the ZDA Board that Mr Chisanga will transform the agency into an organisation which will build and enhance Zambia’s investment profile for increased capital inflows, capital formation and employment creation.

This is in line with the desire of the leaders who established it.

Truly, having spent more than 30 years in the public and corporate sectors of Zambia, serving as chief executive officer, chairperson and aisor of many organisations and companies, as well as his active involvement in global organisations, Mr Chisanga is the right person to transform ZDA.

He is equal to ZDA’s challenge of developing an internationally competitive Zambian economy through innovations that promote high skills, productive investment and increased trade.

The ZDA principally furthers economic development by promoting efficiency, investment and competitiveness in businesses, as well as promoting exports, and Mr Chisanga is expected to play a leading role in that.

ZDA also addresses the high cost of doing business in the country by simplifying the processing of various business formalities such as licensing.

It builds and enhances the country’s investment profile for increased capital inflows, capital formation and employment creation while promoting the growth of the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) sector by providing incentives that can propel long-term sustainable domestic growth.

Following the merger of the aforementioned defunct entities, ZDA is now a one-stop shop for all investors, which is living testimony that Zambia is open for foreign and local people to conduct business.

It is should live up to its role of assuring all that is better to do business in Zambia and not elsewhere.

Further, the ZDA should fully discharge its mandate in the areas of trade development, investment promotion, enterprise restructuring, development of green fields’ projects, small and medium enterprise development, trade and industry fund management.

In the country where the economy is further yearning for both Foreign Direct Investments and local ones, the ZDA is definitely a very important wing of the Government.

We are, therefore, upbeat that the agency will help transform the national economy for the benefit of all citizens. OPINION

Source : The Times of Zambia

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