The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has signed an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) with the British American Tobacco (BAT) Zambia Plc.
The IPPA covers an investment of USD 15 million for the construction of a cigarette factory and head office in Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zones (LS-MFEZ).
The construction of the factory and offices has already started six months after getting the certificate of registration from ZDA.
During the signing ceremony of the IPPA, the Chairperson of ZDA’s Board Mary Ncu’be explained that ZDA facilitated for both the fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for BAT and that the investment is in line with the Seventh National Development Plan of diversifying the economy from the over-reliance on copper exports.
“BAT will provide employment for the Zambian people and provide a ready market for the farmers by providing them with an income [while] BAT will also be exporting cigarettes to international markets which will broaden the nontraditional export sector and earn the country foreign exchange,” Ncu’be noted.
Meanwhile, BAT has expressed gratitude for the support rendered to the company.
BAT Zambia Chief Executive Officer Godfrey Machanzi commented “We can confidently confirm that it is easy to start a business in Zambia and that the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone is a good place to set up a business as the backbone infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water, and sewerage are already in place. All the investor has to do is to put up their factory and start working.”
In June 2017 The Minister of Agriculture of Zambia Dora Siliya said that the country is likely to lose about USD 100 million in export earnings due to the drastic reduction in tobacco production from 45 million kg in 2013 to 22 million kg in 2017, reminding that the sector employs about 450,000 people directly or indirectly countrywide.
She reminded that the greatest challenge the tobacco industry has been experiencing is the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) which aims at reducing tobacco consumption globally.
However, Minister Siliya stressed that tobacco remains one of the key strategic crops for Zambia.