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Africa needs better credit rating—Hichilema

By FELIX KATYETYE

As long as Zambia and other African countries are unfairly rated the continent will continue struggling to add value to its natural resources.

Speaking during the official opening of the European Union-Zambia Copper Business Forum in Kitwe President Hakainde Hichilema said Zambia aimed to enhance green energy but lack of favourable access to fair capital investment made that difficult.

“We want to add value to our natural resources, but we are limited due to lack of access to fair capital investment. Africa now can attract capital investment from many parts of the world, but it is always at a higher cost that makes it difficult for Africa to develop because we pay a premium.”

Hichilema appealed to the European investors present to consider capitalising on various investment projects in Zambia and Africa but at lower interest rates.

“Zambia has had six peaceful transitions that lenders or investors can use to rate Zambia differently as regime changes in Africa come at the cost of people’s blood. Zambia with few other countries have consistently exhibited peaceful transitions. This is an asset that lenders should put into consideration,” President Hichilema said.

EU-Africa Business Partnerships could break the century of African countries exporting raw materials and instead actualize the intended value addition.

The President further called on the business community in attendance to invest in Africa with first-grade technology. “We want joint ventures, we want partners because that is what true friendship is all about.”

Hichilema revealed he was among three African leaders tasked to spearhead the Reform of Global Financial Systems whose aim was to mobilise capital for Africa and Zambia at a fair price.

This year’s European Union-Zambia Copper Business Forum was held under the theme Growing the Copper Industry in Zambia through Green Value Chains.

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