On 20th October 2023, the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) launched its strategic blueprint for 2022-2026, aiming to catalyze economic growth by attracting USD 36 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Local Direct Investment (LDI).
The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to position the Agency to effectively contribute to the economic transformation agenda of the country as espoused in the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP) which is also the building block for the Vision 2030 under which the country aspires to transform into an industrialized, upper middle-income country by 2030.
The Plan is intended to achieve the below strategic results/outcomes:
- Attract a total of at least USD 36 billion in both Foreign (USD 27bn) and Domestic (USD 9bn) investment by 2026;
- Grow total exports from USD 11.64 billion in 2022 to USD 26.65 billion in 2026;
- Grow Non-Traditional Exports from USD 3.52 billion in 2022 to USD 11.65 billion by 2026;
- Create 500,000 decent jobs by 2026;
- Transition 50 medium-sized businesses into Large Multinational Corporations by 2026; and
- Contribute to GDP by actualizing USD 25 billion worth of investments by 2026.
The Plan’s strategic focus for the next 5 years will be on:
- Attracting significant export-oriented foreign and domestic investments;
- Promoting and attracting investment into agriculture, tourism, mining, manufacturing, and enabler sectors such as energy, infrastructure, and ICT;
- Analyzing and prioritizing sectors and integrated value chains (i.e., cotton, electrical, timber, horticulture) with potential to enhance growth, value addition, job creation, and exports;
- Promoting the development and commercialization of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) such as Integrated agro-industrial parks;
- Creating and/or facilitating the development of export-ready products;
- Profiling and/or packaging climate-smart investment (Green and Blue Economy) projects including the promotion of carbon credits;
- Facilitating Joint Ventures/Partnerships and transitioning medium-level businesses into Large National Corporations through specialist Business Development Services; and
- Research and advocating for policy measures (i.e., smart incentives, reduction in the cost of doing business) that will facilitate an enabling business environment for growth and competitiveness of businesses.
The plan was unveiled at a ceremony in the Mulungushi International Conference Centre, attended by key figures in government, industry, and international partners.
At the launch, ZDA Board Chairperson Prof Biemba Maliti, accompanied by Director General Mr. Albert Halwampa, detailed the plan’s objectives.
Prof Maliti highlighted the plan’s alignment with the country’s economic transformation goals as outlined in the Eighth National Development Plan and pointed to favorable investment trends as a strong foundation for the plan’s ambitious targets.
Foreign Direct Investment Flows into Zambia
In the period between 2019 and 2021, investments in Zambia were predominantly made up of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) with Local Direct Investment (LDI) accounting for less than 45% of the total investments.
In 2019, Zambia attracted USD 4.88 billion in total committed investments of which USD 3.6 billion was FDI.
In 2020, the country recorded the largest amount of investment with USD 5.84 billion, USD 3.17 billion of which was FDI.
In 2021, the figures dropped to USD 3.33 billion and USD 1.94 billion respectively.
The Manufacturing Sector was the highest recipient of FDI inflows into Zambia amounting to USD 456.8 million, followed by Deposit-taking corporations and then Wholesale and Retail Trade, while Agriculture accounted for the least inflow of USD 38 million.