More than 50 U.S. and Zambian business and government leaders gathered in Lusaka October 12-13 for the two-day inaugural U.S.-Zambia Business Summit at the Intercontinental Hotel. The Summit highlighted Zambia as one of the most attractive business environments for investment on the African continent.
The Summit presented an opportunity for industry leaders to meet with high-level Zambian government officials to explore business opportunities within different sectors including in energy, agriculture and agri-business, healthcare, mining, ICT, infrastructure, and financial services. U.S. companies are important contributors to Zambia’s economic growth, and two-way trade in goods between the United States and Zambia is estimated at $269 million (4.27 billion kwacha) annually.
Zambian participants included, Minister of Energy Peter Chibwe Kapala, Minister of Infrastructure Charles Milupi, Minister of Technology and Science Felix Mutati and Acting Minister of Commerce, Trade, and Industry Elias Mubanga. The U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Michael Gonzales and Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs in sub-Saharan Africa Cynthia Griffin represented the U.S. government. Ambassador Gonzales underscored in his remarks that, “working with the Zambian government to improve Zambia’s business enabling environment is my top objective as Ambassador.” Representatives from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, along with U.S. companies also attended the Summit.
The Zambian market offers U.S. firms significant opportunities in several sectors, and there is ample room to take advantage of these opportunities in the coming years. There is also growing interest among Zambian firms, which are looking to either invest in or export to the United States. The U.S. government, through the U.S. Embassy in Zambia, also supports Zambian businesses and entrepreneurs to explore the U.S. market for future investment in additional to encouraging U.S. businesses to explore investments in Zambia.