Category Archives: Zambia


from: Charles Banda


There comes a time when courage and faith must be given an opportunity to function. Since the demise of our beloved President Mr Michael Sata on October 28th, 2014, we have witnessed a major struggle for power across the board. We have witnessed how human ambition would rather choose expedience than the rule of law. Our Party MMD has reached yet another defining moment in our on-going process of renewing and re-branding ourselves. The events of the past two weeks have prompted me to face the nation today.


For many Zambians across the nation, the debate on the possible return of Mr Rupiah Banda, was considered as a rumor until yesterday when it is now in the open that Mr Banda has indeed declared his interest to contest the Presidency in the forthcoming by election. While we have no objection to President Banda’s democratic right to contest any election, we do have a position when the MMD is mentioned to be the platform he wishes to use.

We are deeply disappointed as a party at the unprecedented damage that this quest for power has done to the party. Instead of approaching the leadership of the party, he went into our structures and used unconventional means to destabilize our party by promoting divisions.

On 17th November 2014, our National Executive Committee mandated me to:

1. Explore the option of an alliance with another party

2. To meet President Banda and explore means we can engage him to see which role he could play in the forth-coming by election

Yesterday, I fulfilled the first obligation and met President Banda and discussed several options on how he can get involved in our campaign. It is however unfortunate that during this time some individuals have been working to destabilize and undermine the leadership of the party by sponsoring crowds that have both disrupted meetings and divided the party to such proportions that it will take the party many months to stabilize.

While I was meeting with President Banda, our opponents had started collecting signatures from unsuspecting NEC members to petition for my expulsion from the party because, there was a feeling that I am standing in the way of President Banda’s return. This petition is an illegality and founded on greed and a lack of understanding of our constitution. Brown envelopes are being used to extract these signatures.

I am fully aware of almost all schemes that have been employed to divide the party. Let me state here and now that MMD is not for sale. It is unfortunate that President Banda has tried to use the back door to usurp power in order to contest the presidency.

I wish to state that no one has endorsed Mr Rupiah Banda as the Candidate on the MMD ticket. MMD has one president and that President is myself. I was elected at the last convention with a five year mandate. Our constitution is clear that there is no provision to elect a presidential candidate outside the sitting president. Some have cited how the NEC chose presidential candidates, Levy Mwanawasa and Rupiah Banda, but in both these two cases there was no sitting president who automatically qualified to contest. In 2001, President Chiluba was in illegible to stand and in 2008, President Mwanawasa had died.


I wish therefore to declare my unwavering commitment to our constitution. As long as I remain President, the rule of law shall remain supreme. I therefore advise that those who have vowed to bend the provisions of our constitution shall not succeed but are free to start their own party and fulfill their aspirations.

It is unfortunate that this development has happened when the party desperately needs unity in order to face the by-election. I therefore wish to dispel the rumor that Mr Banda is our candidate. There is no vacuum in the Presidency of MMD.

We remain committed to exploring all options meant to further strengthen us including that of respectful alliances with other political parties and we have made great progress in this regard.

I wish to appeal to all members across the nation, whose commitment is to the party and not an individual to focus on this coming election.

I appeal to all Zambians, the Church, youth and women to stand with us in this critical hour.

Zambia shall be saved.


Africa’s Food Security: Bags2Bulk Project Will Enhance Zambia’s Food Security Through Improved Grain Storage and Reduced Post-Harvest Losses

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

With 80% of Zambia’s maize produced by smallholder farmers, there is significant demand for improved grain storage facilities

LUSAKA, Zambia, August 7, 2014/ — AGCO (Your Agriculture Company, NYSE:AGCO) (, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has launched a partnership with Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation (a US Agency for International Development-funded program) to reduce post-maize harvest losses and improve grain handling in Zambia.


Photo 1:

Photo 2:

The new Bags2Bulk project will see AGCO and it partners, GSI Africa, Musika and Ybema Grain Services, introduce and sell 40 metal storage silos at grain trader level benefitting 12,000 smallholder farmers. In the first of several product demonstrations scheduled for Zambia’s Central and Eastern Provinces, more than 75 grain traders recently attended a roadshow in Mkushi to view the silos in action.

“With 80% of Zambia’s maize produced by smallholder farmers, there is significant demand for improved grain storage facilities,” says Nuradin Osman, AGCO Director Operations Africa and Middle East. “These producers primarily use recycled bags for storage, and it is estimated that 30% of grain is lost post-harvest as a result of rot, rodent and insect damage. The bulk silos, manufactured under AGCO’s GSI brand, will enable smallholder farms and traders to safely store larger quantities of maize in order to maintain grain quality. Added to this is the potential for them to make sales at a later date when prices may be more advantageous.”

Bags2Bulk is the first partnership between AGCO and Feed the Future, the US Government’s global hunger and food security initiative led by USAID. Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation, a program under this initiative, funds off-the-shelf technologies to increase smallholder productivity and competitiveness.

Along with the supply of 2.5-500 tonne capacity silos, the scope of Bags2Bulk includes provision of product training and demonstrations, marketing and the facilitation of finance.

AGCO’s consortium of operational partners for Bags2Bulk includes GSI Africa, distributor for GSI grain storage and handling technology in Zambia; Musika, a Not For Profit Company which works to stimulate private sector investment in the smallholder market, and Ybema Grain Services, an accredited grain trader.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of AGCO Corporation.

Press contact:
Louisa Parker
Manager Institutional Funding & Stakeholder
Relations, Africa & Middle East
Tel: +44 02476852001

About AGCO
AGCO (NYSE: AGCO) ( is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery. AGCO supports more productive farming through a full line of tractors, combines, hay tools, sprayers, forage equipment, grain storage and protein production systems, tillage implements and replacement parts. AGCO products are sold through five core machinery brands, Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra® and are distributed globally through approximately 3,100 independent dealers and distributors in more than 140 countries worldwide. Founded in 1990, AGCO is headquartered in Duluth, GA, USA. In 2013, AGCO had net sales of $10.8 billion.

AGCO Corporation


From: Charles Banda

A recent statement from the Governor of the Bank of Zambia on the challenges facing the Zambian economy, especially the Kwacha.


June 10, 2014

The Bank of Zambia wishes to take this opportunity to update the public on recent developments in the foreign exchange market and the measures that have been taken to stabilize the recent instability in the Kwacha. As a result of additional measures implemented on May 30, 2014, the exchange rate has shown signs of stability over the past week.

Let me first of all state that Zambia’s economic fundamentals remain sound.

It is our view that the rate of depreciation of Kwacha witnessed over the past few months is not consistent with economic fundamentals.

Early this year, the Central Statistics Office revised the GDP numbers for the year 2010, to take into account the changes in the economy since 1994.

Based on these revised GDP numbers, in 2013 the economy registered growth of 6.7%. It is anticipated that growth will remain above 6% in 2014 and even higher over the medium term.

As we have indicated before, the prospects for the mining, agriculture, construction, manufacturing and tourism sectors are all bright. We expect these sectors to continue being strong drivers of growth and this is being supported by the strong investment in the transport and energy infrastructure that the Government is currently undertaking.

Our mandate at the Bank of Zambia is to achieve price and financial system stability. For the year 2014, our inflation objective is to attain an end-year inflation target of 6.5%. From the beginning of the year, inflation has generally been on an upward trend with the annual inflation rate rising from 7.1% in December 2013 to 7.8% in May 2014.

Factors contributing to these inflationary pressures include the depreciation in the exchange rate from the third quarter of 2013, higher food prices during the lean period between October 2013 and March 2014 prior to the crop harvest and the increase in fuel prices. More recently, the announcement that electricity prices are likely to be raised, will also add to inflationary pressures.

Having said this, we are confident that the increased investment in the electricity sector supported by economic tariff rates will bring the benefit of higher exports and more stable power supply, which ultimately will support export diversification, exchange rate stability, greater productivity in industry and lower inflation.

We are all aware that inflation is a corrosive influence on any economy and mostly hurts the poorest. The depreciation of the exchange rate is a strong driver of inflationary pressures and is, therefore a threat to the achievement of our inflation objective.

Some of the factors that have contributed to the depreciation in the exchange rate include but are not restricted to: a noticeable reduction in the supply of dollars to the market, particularly from the mining sector, which accounts for the bulk of foreign exchange supply. Over the first
quarter of 2014, we also noticed deterioration in the current account balance to a deficit of US $260.7 million from a surplus of US $28.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. The deterioration was largely accounted for by higher service payments.

Over the fourth quarter of 2013 and into the first quarter of 2014, there has also been a significant build-up of liquidity. This liquidity has supported demand for foreign exchange – and has ultimately led to the measures taken to tighten monetary policy. Developments in the international financial markets have also impacted on the Kwacha, as the strengthening of the dollar has led to a corresponding weakness in the Kwacha through financial flows.

It is because of the importance we attach to maintaining low inflation, that the Bank of Zambia has taken strong measures to address the rising inflation trend and the instability in the foreign exchange market by significantly tightening monetary policy.

In March 2014, the Monetary Policy Committee raised the BoZ policy rate by 50 basis points to 10.25%. The statutory reserve ratio was also increased to 14.0% from 8.0%, to help address the
high liquidity levels in the market. In April, we announced a further increase in the policy rate to 12.0%.

On May 30, 2014, the Bank of Zambia took further measures to tighten monetary policy by increasing the rate on the overnight lending facility to 10 percentage points above the policy rate from 6 percentage points. Further, the Bank has widened the application of statutory reserves to include Government deposits and Vostro accounts held by foreign financial institutions. The Bank of Zambia will also now require Banks to comply with statutory reserve requirements on a daily basis and not on an average basis as was previously the case.

In addition to these measures the Bank of Zambia has also intervened in the foreign exchange market to improve supply of foreign exchange. This is in line with its policy of managing volatility in the exchange rate, rather than targeting a specific level of the exchange rate.

With the measures we have taken, we have seen some stabilisation in the exchange rate over the past few days. We will remain alert to ensure that we achieve our objective of a flexible and market-determined exchange rate that reflects market fundamentals and promotes macroeconomic stability.

In addition to measures taken to tighten monetary policy, we have also had in-depth discussions with stakeholders in the financial sector. These discussions have focused on the foreign exchange market in general and the operations of the interbank market in particular. It is clear that working with the banking sector, there is a need to improve the efficiency of the foreign exchange market by eliminating the structural rigidities that have emerged. Some of these rigidities include the concentration of sources of supply, and the lower sales of foreign exchange, particularly by the mining sector.

The Bank of Zambia will continue to address the key structural constraints in the financial sector. We are confident that efforts to develop our financial markets and make the interbank foreign exchange market more efficient, coupled with the continued strong growth in non-traditional exports, will promote a diversified supply of foreign exchange and help achieve greater resilience in the foreign exchange market.

In conclusion, we wish to assure the general public that the Bank of Zambia and the Government are committed to maintaining macroeconomic stability and ensuring that the year of our golden jubilee becomes a stepping stone towards inclusive growth.

BOZ Governor

(Source: Bank of Zambia)

There are too many holes, as usual, in Gondwe’s statements. We will leave to others to explore. But it is striking that Gondwe appears to believe the tightening measures are responsible for the relative stability of the Kwacha we have seen over the last week.

In fact the simple reason the Kwacha has stabilised is because GRZ has asked the IMF to provide a bailout programme which will ultimately lead to austerity measures and downward management of the government budget deficit. In other words GRZ appears to have concluded that it needs policy credibility but handing over some degree of control over its fiscal plan to an external foreign body that the wider investor community is likely to have confidence in. It is an extraordinary admission of its ineptitude, but one which appears to be temporarily working.

The consequence is that the market now, for the moment, appears to believe that fiscal consolidation will now take place e.g. wages will continue to be frozen, no significant reckless spending will occur, etc. Whether President Sata will toll the IMF line is anybody’s guess. The way the government is currently organised is quite chaotic with no central intellectual centre.

There also increasing political fractures within PF, and with the possibility of an election looming, and more pressure for pre-2016 spending, it should soon become clearer that IMF programme will hardly provide the silver bullet needed to restore confidence. Much more needs to be done to on the politics.

Gondwe of course is the man in the middle. And an obvious challenge he is facing is that because he has never taken Economics 101. So he does not even realise that MARKET FUNDAMENTALS is actually a broad term in economics which includes not only the things he has mentioned such as inflation and interest rates, but also the state of the government’s budget deficit and the level of business and investor confidence.

One suspects that once the facts concerning Zambia have been absolved by all the relevant players in the next two or three weeks the downward trajectory of the Kwacha will resume. This has always been the pattern over the last three years.

By the way, it is interesting the economic growth projection now been downgraded! It was 7% in the 2014 budget. We are now talking about 6%. That is definitely the wrong direction. Zambia needs at least double digit growth to reduce poverty.


By Our Reporter

Top Kenya police led by the outgoing Nyanza Provincial Police boss Joseph ole Tito led a delegation to Migingo Island in Lake Victoria following an attack on three administration of police officers by Ugandan police.

Tito who was accompanied by Migori County police commander Clement Gatogo held a closed door meeting in the tiny controversial Island for close to four hours.

Tito however maintained that the meeting was a familiarization tour for the new police commander in the county.

He says the meeting was normal only to check on the living condition of the officers who are stationed at the Island to provide law and order.

However, Migingo Beach Management Unit chairman Juma Ombori says the meeting was necessitated by the attack on the APs by the Uganda forces.

Ombori says the three Kenyan officers were assaulted for no apparent reason by their neighboring colleagues sparking tension within the Island.

The attack was confirmed by the Nyatike deputy county commissioner Moses Ivuto who termed the incident as unfortunate.

Ivuto says the injured officers were treated in a nearby health facility and discharged and investigations into the attack is on.


Former president Bush Comment while in Zambia June 1st 2013

From: Judy Miriga

Good People,

Leadership is a hard job, I agree………but, it pays well doing the
right thing. At the end of the day, there is a balance in the positive
side providing for responsibility in sharing and caring and making
life worthy of the purpose for creation; and when Nature is cared
for and preserved to remain in harmony with itself; because, God’s
creation was made perfect…….we are united at peace with each
other and always, ours remain to be of Responsibility for goodness
sake and in the transition; evil, hate, Killings, Pain and Sufferings
find no room to thrive………it is rendered irrelevant good people!!!
How wonderful is wonderful….. !!!

Have your say…………Cheers !!!!

Judy Miriga
Diaspora Spokesperson
Executive Director
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,

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George W. Bush on Mandela, Snowden and legacy
Former president speaks with CNN while in Zambia with wife Laura
Author: By Jethro Mullen CNN
Published On: Jul 01 2013 06:23:25 AM EDT Updated On: Jul 01 2013 08:06:50 AM EDT

George W Bush in Zambia

(CNN) –

Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, are in Zambia, where they are renovating a health clinic.

In an exclusive interview, he tells CNN why he respects Nelson Mandela, what he thinks about Edward Snowden and President Barack Obama, and how he’s not going to be around when his legacy is finally decided.
• On Snowden: “I think he damaged the security of the country.”

• On Mandela: “His legacy will last for a long time.”

• On Obama: “It’s a hard job. He’s got plenty on his agenda.”

Bush talked about Snowden, the computer contractor who leaked details about secret U.S. surveillance programs, to CNN’s Robyn Curnow in Zambia on Sunday.

He said he believes the Obama administration “will deal” with the fallout from the controversy unleashed by Snowden, who is now thought to be holed up in the transit area of a Moscow airport after fleeing there from Hong Kong.

Snowden’s disclosures about the programs carried out by the National Security Agency have shaken the U.S. intelligence community and put the Obama administration on the defensive over accusations of government overreach into citizens’ privacy.

But Bush refrained from criticizing the current president.

“I don’t think it does any good,” he said. “It’s a hard job. He’s got plenty on his agenda. It’s difficult. A former president doesn’t need to make it any harder. Other presidents have taken different decisions; that’s mine.”

The White House has defended the surveillance programs as necessary tools to defuse terrorist threats. Obama has said he welcomes a debate over how to strike a balance between security and privacy.

“I think there needs to be a balance, and as the president explained, there is a proper balance,” Bush said.

Asked about an NSA program that tracks people’s Internet activity, Bush said, “I put that program in place to protect the country. One of the certainties was that civil liberties were guaranteed.”

Snowden has said he leaked information to journalists about the surveillance programs in the hope of ending what he called an excessively intrusive system.

The Bushes were at a renovated health clinic in Livingstone, Zambia, that opens Monday as a cervical cancer screening and treatment center. They hope this will save the lives of thousands of women.

In his comments, George Bush touched on the subject of Mandela, who is on life support in a South African hospital.

“Sometimes, there are leaders who come and go. His legacy will last for a long time,” he said of the ailing anti-apartheid icon.

Reminded by Curnow that Mandela had criticized him publicly about the war in Iraq, Bush said he didn’t bear a grudge.

“He wasn’t the only guy,” he said. “It’s OK. I made decisions that were the right decisions. History will ultimately judge. I never held someone’s opinion against him; I didn’t look at him differently because he didn’t agree with me on an issue.”

Bush also initially said he wasn’t bothered about his ratings in opinion polls, even if some of them now put him at a similar level to Obama.

“The only time I really cared was on Election Day,” he said.

Then, drawing laughter from his wife, he checked himself and said, “You know, I guess it’s nice. I mean, let me rephrase that: Thank you for bringing it up.”

In any case, the former president said he doesn’t expect a fair assessment of his legacy in his lifetime.

“I won’t be around, because it will take a while for the objective historians to show up,” he said. “So I’m pretty comfortable with it, I did what I did; I know the spirit in which I did it.”

Copyright 2013 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


From: Ouko joachim omolo
The News Dispatch with Omolo Beste in images

The News Dispatch with Omolo Beste take this opportunity to be in solidarity and prayers with our pals from Zambia following the death of 53 people killed in one of the worst traffic crashes in the nation in recent history according to officials.

The news just reaching The News Dispatch with Omolo Beste says that a bus operated by Zambia’s postal service carrying passengers toward its capital Lusaka smashed into a semi-truck and another car Thursday, killing at least 53 people. The crash happened Thursday morning near the town of Chifamba, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Lusaka according to police spokeswoman Elizabeth Kanjela.

Kennedy Sakeni, Zambia’s information minister, said at least 53 people died in the crash, while another 22 had been taken to local hospitals. A sport utility vehicle also was involved in the crash, he said.

Zambia Postal Services runs the bus routes throughout the country, carrying passengers and mail through the nation of 13 million people in southern Africa.

The crash Thursday represented one of the worst for Zambia in recent years. In April 2005, a truck packed with high school students skidded off a mountain road in northern Zambia, killing at least 38 and seriously injuring another 50.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Real change must come from ordinary people who refuse to be taken hostage by the weapons of politicians in the face of inequality, racism and oppression, but march together towards a clear and unambiguous goal.

-Anne Montgomery, RSCJ UN Disarmament Conference, 2002

Zambia picks its next president in tight vote…”King Cobra” Michael Sata Congratulation….

from Judy Miriga


A fight well done, Congratulation King Cobra Michael Sata.

Judy Miriga
Diaspora Spokesperson
Executive Director
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,

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Zambia’s ‘King Cobra’ Sata wins elctions

Zambia’s ‘King Cobra” Michael Sata elected President

Uploaded by comapass1 on Sep 23, 2011
Zambian opposition leader Michael Sata, scored an upset presidential election victory on Friday which may have negative results in foreign companies’ view of Africa’s biggest copper producer as a sound investment destination.

Zambia’s opposition leader Sata wins elections
By Chris Mfula | Reuters – Thu, Sep 22, 2011

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia’s opposition leader Michael Sata was declared the winner of the country’s presidential elections on Friday, defeating incumbent Rupiah Banda in polls marred by public violence in Africa’s biggest copper producer.

Zambia’s Chief Justice Ernest Sakala declared Sata the winner after he received 1,150,045 votes compared to Banda’s 961,796 with 95.3 percent of constituencies counted.

(Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Marius Bosch)

Zambia picks its next president in tight vote
AFP – Mon, Sep 19, 2011

About 5.2 million registered Zambian voters head to the polls Tuesday for elections pitting President Rupiah Banda’s pro-business policies against opposition leader Michael Sata’s fiery nationalism.

The race has been described by analysts as too close to call.

Banda has presided over one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies thanks largely to the rising international price of copper, Zambia’s main export.

But Sata has sought to turn the incumbent’s economic track record against him by arguing that Banda has let foreign investors reap the rewards of the copper boom while ordinary Zambians continue living in poverty.

The election will decide the country’s leadership for the next five years, but is unlikely to bring major policy shifts if Sata’s Patriotic Front (PF) defeats the ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), in power for the past 20 years.

Political analyst Phineas Bbaala of the University of Zambia predicted the race will be tight, with the winner claiming less than 50 percent of the overall vote.

“Most of the voters around the country are in a deep state of psychological discontent, and as a result, we’re likely to see an opposition which will poll more votes than the ruling party,” Bbaala told AFP.

“But because the opposition vote will be fragmented, it is most likely that the MMD will win.”

He said the PF’s chances diminished when its alliance with the minority United Party for National Development (UPND) collapsed in March amid a leadership squabble.

A PF win would only be the second transfer of power in Zambia since the country gained independence from Britain in 1964.

The PF says if elected it will bring back a 25 percent windfall tax on mining revenues that Banda’s government abolished in 2009.

The increase in copper prices since then — from around $3,000 a tonne to almost $10,000 — and the friendly tax regime have drawn a rush of foreign and especially Chinese investment to Zambia.

Thanks largely to the mining boom, Banda has presided over an economy that grew 7.6 percent last year and 6.4 percent the year before.

But the PF says Banda has failed to spread the wealth, with 64 percent of Zambia’s 12.9 million people still living on less than two dollars a day.

Sata has also attacked his rival’s record on corruption, after Banda’s government refused to appeal the corruption acquittal of former president Frederick Chiluba, accused of embezzling $500,000 during his 1991 to 2002 presidency.

Sata, whose biting rhetoric has earned him the nickname “King Cobra”, faces image problems of his own in his fourth presidential bid.

Critics fear the strong-fisted firebrand, who made his name bashing the growing Chinese presence in the country, would make an authoritarian president.

The last contest between the two rivals — a 2008 special election to fill the remainder of late president Levy Mwanawasa’s term after his death — was decided by just two percentage points.

Sata alleged the election was rigged, and his supporters rioted for days after.

Voting stations open at 0400GMT and close at 1600GMT, according to the electoral commission.



Your Excellency, Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe,

Your Excellency, Rupiah Bwezani Banda, President of Zambia,

Honourable Ministers,

Your Excellencies Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Heads of International and Regional Organizations,

Distinguished Representatives of DFID and JICA,

My colleagues, Sindiso Ngwenya and Dr. Tomaz Augusto Salomao, the CEOs of COMESA and SADC,

Invited Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am honoured and profoundly privileged as Chair of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Task Force of Chief Executive officers to thank your Excellencies, our dear Heads of State, for your distinguished presence at this event of historic importance to our region and to Africa.

Your Excellencies,

This event marking the official Launch of the Chirundu One Stop Border Post, the first of its kind in Africa, is a lucid demonstration of the new dynamic in regional integration; a dynamic whose underlying ethos is the forward movement towards the realization of the African Economic Community.

Your Excellencies,

Our region, sparked by the vision and resolve of our political leaders in COMESA, SADC and the East African Community, is path breaking in collapsing the artificial national borders created by colonialism and taking revolutionary strides towards unleashing a new economic integration momentum. A higher growth and sustainable trajectory and indeed the economic liberation of the people of our regional crucially hinges on this dynamic political leadership and on the measures being unfolded of which this One Stop Border Post is only a small manifestation. The bigger resolve is what our leaders decided in October last year in Kampala, Uganda that COMESA-EAC and SADC proceed expeditiously to establish a Grand Free Trade Area followed by a Customs Union. Much headway has been realized on this front. Indeed as we meet here, all the Member States of our three Regional Communities are now reviewing concrete proposals which our Task Force led by the three CEOs have developed and tabled. Our plan is that our political leaders should by May next year pronounce themselves on the establishment of the Grand Free Trade Area.

Your Excellencies,

Within the framework of the Tripartite arrangements, there have been resolute efforts taken, even prior to the establishment of the Grand FTA, to address our region’s transport and logistics deficits. This is in the realization that supply side constraints distort our region’s costs of doing business and undermine our economic competitiveness. It is this realization that gave birth to the North-South Corridor Development Project within which the Chirundu One Stop Border Post is an inherent part. In April this year at Lusaka, the Tripartite Leadership supported by a number of close Development Partners, notably DFID, JICA, EU, World Bank, African Development Bank and Development Bank of Southern Africa, the North-South Corridor Project was able to attract USD1.2 billion in funding pledges. DBSA is raising an additional USD1.5 billion for the project.

Your Excellencies,

Years of cross-border trade experience around the world and not just in Africa have shown that the costs of doing business are invariably distorted where the efficiency of supply chains, both in exports and imports, is thwarted by poor facilitation at border points. A recent study report of the World Bank points out that in fact only 25% of the supply chain high costs are attributable to poor physical infrastructure. 75% of the cost distortion is contributed by what are described as soft infrastructure deficits. These are principally people-driven and related to cumbersome customs procedures, bureaucratic behavior and corruption. It is these trade facilitation deficits that the One Stop Border Posts seek to address. And this Chirundu One-Stop Border Post is in this vein a milestone project. A model whose success will constitute a huge case for replication around our COMESA-EAC-SADC region and Africa generally. We have every confidence that this Chirundu Project will significantly reduce supply chain transaction costs, spur higher trade flows and boost the competitiveness of our industries and agriculture.

Let me offer a real example. Currently, it takes 2-3 days for a haulage truck to cross the Chirundu Border point. If you consider that Chirundu handles an average of 268 trucks per day, this translates to a traffic volume of 96,840 trucks per annum, as a minimum. From our calculation, it costs each truck USD140 per day in fixed costs and Drivers’ time. Thus for 3 days, the cost per truck is US$420. This cost is saved by use of the Chirundu One Stop Border Posts because it is now estimated that each truck should not take more than 2 hours to cross and only 15 minutes for fast track pre-cleared traffic. In our estimation, the potential cost saving per annum is about USD486 million which accrues to our economies and leverages competitiveness.

Your Excellencies,

The advantages realized from the One Stop Border Post are not merely economic. They are also social and importantly so. Public health research in our broad region shows that there is close association between high incidences of HIV/AIDs transmission and delays in border crossings of haulage trucks. Chirundu and other planned One Stop Border Posts will contribute to a significant reduction in HIV/AIDs vulnerability in this important regional economic sector.

Your Excellencies,

Allow me to conclude by thanking DFID and JICA for their financial and technical support to this Chirundu Project. DFID and JICA are working closely with the Tripartite to develop other Transport Corridors in the COMESA-EAC-SADC region notably the Northern Corridor in Kenya and the Central Corridor in Tanzania. These corridors will further open up the economic spaces embracing Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern DRC.

Your Excellencies,

The Governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia have made a huge contribution to this Chirundu Project. The presence of Presidents Mugabe and Banda here today attests to their valued support of this One Stop Border Post Project. We hail this support and salute our comrade Presidents for their solidarity. Finally, special gratitude to Mr. Kingsley Chanda, the Manager and Coordinator of this One Stop Border Post Project. He has done a commendable job.

Your Excellencies,


On behalf of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Task Force, I have great honour to invite their Excellencies, President Robert Mugabe and President Rupiah Banda to address us and officially inaugurate the Chirundu One Stop Border Post.