BUYZED campaign founder Evans Kazonga Ngoma says the forthcoming Eastern Province Expo will seek to bring together potential investors in areas of interest.
And Ngoma says Zambia can easily achieve its target of becoming a middle-income country by 2030 if it properly invests in its resources. In a statement issued yesterday, Ngoma stated that the organisers of the Eastern Province Expo should be commended for the noble gesture.
“As BuyZed, we are aware of the Expo that is slated for August this year, which seeks to bring together stakeholders and potential investors to tap into areas of interest. What a noble gesture by the organisers and we are fully in support. What is key to note from our perspective is that ultimately we need value for our communities both in terms of beneficial employment, infrastructure development and more importantly real community empowerment,” he stated.
Ngoma urged the local people to strive for smart partnerships during the Expo.
“What these will address include long term development for the province, sustainability, tangible, feasible job opportunities for locals, better remuneration which will cascade down to families through support. This works when we create mutual beneficial relationships both for the investor and local players. This we must do. Let’s strive for smart partnerships and as locals stand our own as equal partners. Eastern Province is agro based with small-scale farmers making huge and significant contributions towards the country’s food security. Year in and year out we get good harvests that help feed the nation. We are grateful to God. However, more could be done without taking away the good work currently being done,” he stated.
Ngoma stated that people should focus on value addition among other things during the expo.
“Let’s look at how we can value add these raw products. For instance, we can make cornflakes and other cereal products that can even be exported.
As preparations for the expo are gaining momentum, let’s look at ways of exploring that. We need the technology locally, some has it somewhere in the world. Let’s create the smart partnerships. Let’s make sump, stock feed. We are encouraging the thinking ‘it can only get better and more refined’ but it starts with the idea. Beyond our traditional maize, as BuyZed, we have been advocating for crop diversification to cash crops like strawberries, avocados, pineapple etc as these are used to make juices, concentrates for yoghurt,” he stated.
“These fetch more and can bring socio economic growth to our communities. Let’s explore and get to start working. We have a pilot project that we are supporting as BuyZed in Chipata for strawberry and avocado. The idea is crop diversification and empowering local communities. Those interested can get in touch with our Eastern Province team for production and we have committed to link producers to market to express the true meaning of BuyZed of job creation, national pride and socio economic growth,” he stated.
Ngoma also stated that tourism was a game changer.
“Beside agriculture, tourism is another potential game changer. We have Mfuwe which is in a game area along Luangwa River. As I was discussing with a colleague, I said to him, if you watch National Geographic channel on Dstv, there is some content shot in Mfuwe along and about life on the Luangwa River in THE South Luangwa national park shared between Eastern Province and Muchinga Province,” he stated.
“I could imagine if we could empower local TV and documentary producers to be doing it, we grow the sector, create jobs, earn forex through selling content regionally and internationally. More so the zeal it creates to locals will help push local tourism which then contributes immensely to economic growth this we must do. As BuyZed, we are championing local tourism and this in our humble view is a step in the right direction. We need all sectors of the economy
to be performing to get real benefits that cascades down to our relatives in Lundazi, Nyimba, Kasenengwa and beyond.”
And Ngoma stated that Zambia had rich natural diversity.
“Yet what at times pains us is as much as we believe and see the so many opportunities that are in our midst, we still are mired and have so many challenges among them unemployment, poverty, inequality gaps that at times drain the hope and energies of our communities. But we are saying there is a lot of potential, let’s invest time and resources and surely we can grow to be a middle income status country by 2030,” stated Ngoma.