The German Embassy in Lusaka has recently announced the conclusion of a two-day visit to Zambia by business delegation led by Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier that aimed at strengthening development and trade in the country.
The German delegation compounded by Members of German Parliament, representatives of high ranking businesses, German media and Minister Steinmeier constitutes the first visit in 40 years of a German Foreign Minister to Zambia, in recognition of the historical and friendly relationship between both countries.
According to Deutsch Welle (DW), a German state-run international broadcaster, Minister Steinmeier’s visit to Zambia responds to the recent economic challenges that the African country is facing due to the economic slowdown in China and worldwide lower copper demand.
Despite the current challenges, Zambia remains a stable country and the security of German investments in the domestic industry is guaranteed, explained Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu.
The energy sector is the key to beat all current challenges since it has hurt the most the country’s economic growth, this is why Zambia will closely work with Germany to evaluate which is the best way to develop businesses together by either joint ventures or direct investment, President Lungu added.
According to Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), record decrease on water levels at the Kariba North Bank hydropower station cut its power generation by 67% in 2015 since 99% of the electricity generated in the country comes from large hydropower plants.
This is turn constrained the mining sector’s output which accounts for up to 78% of Zambian total exports and contributed to the Zambian Kwacha’s (ZMW) depreciation to a peak of -71% against the US dollar as of October, 2015.
Zambia has a really high potential and plenty of business opportunities, this is why Germany relies on the country to overcome the current energy crisis and economic challenges by implementing smart solutions that will be developed by both countries, explained Minister Steinmeier.
The Minister and his business delegation held economic roundtables to get an extensive insight of Zambia to assess challenges and development needs.
After meetings with the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and ZESCO, the German business delegation engaged to work together with a focus on four key sectors named power generation, water and sanitation, urbanization, and HIV prevention measures according to DW.
ZESCO expects to develop USD 4.3 billion worth of power generation projects within the next 12 months including renewable energy, solar and thermal power plants which would add up to 1,673 MW to the current 1,900 MW generated by hydropower plants.