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Why Zambia’s Gabriel Namulambe Believes China Is Helping Zambia Diversify Its Economy

Zambia Lusaka
Credit: Vdio

When it comes to China’s contribution to Africa’s economic diversification agenda, not many people believe Beijing is relevant. Perhaps, to such people, infrastructural assistance, as Beijing has been engaged in, has little impact on Africa’s economic diversification. But a former Zambian Minister of Youth and Sport, Gabriel Namulambe, has another perspective. 

In a news post by China.org.cn, the former minister is reported to have said the Chinese are helping Zambia to diversify from mining to the agriculture sector, which will result in improved living standards for Zambians. Gabriel Namulambe has partnered with Chinese investors to set up an agriculture project in the Mpongwe district in Zambia’s Copperbelt province. 

He is also reported to have expressed his satisfaction with how the Chinese people were helping Zambians to diversify from mining to agriculture, which contributes positively towards Zambia’s economic growth.

Advising the youth of Zambia, Namulambe said, “as a former minister for youth, I would like to see innovative youths, like our colleagues from Asia, specifically the Chinese, to develop a culture of working hard.” The former minister was happy that major projects in Zambia were given to Zambians in partnership with the Chinese to grow Zambia’s economy, China.org.cn said. He further urged youths to stay away from illicit activities, like alcohol abuse, for the country’s economic progress. 

In 2019, the first Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Agriculture was held in Sanya, China. In his opening remarks, Han Changfu, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China (MARA), stated that China and Africa have longstanding cooperation in agriculture based on equality and mutual benefit.

Zambia-China Relations 

Zambia recognized the People’s Republic of China just five days after gaining its own independence. For some Zambians, one of the most egregious indicators of China’s influence in Zambia occurred in December 2017, when the Zambian government commissioned eight Chinese nationals into the Zambian police force.

China is a leading source of foreign direct investment in Zambia. Chinese firms have invested substantial amounts in the country, primarily in the mining sector.

If Chinese investment is good for Zambia, then it should be able to withstand scrutiny. But, if China’s investments represent a mortal risk for Zambia, then ordinary Zambians are brave to challenge it. It is not easy to look a gift horse in the mouth, particularly when the gift is sorely needed, says an article published in The Diplomat 

Is China’s investments in Africa helping to diversify the economies of African countries?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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