Economic Diplomacy has been defined as a form of diplomacy that uses the full spectrum of economic tools of a state to achieve it’s national interests. The New Dawn Administration has anchored the policies on economic development and everything that they say centres on economic growth.
Against this background it is prudent that the Zambian government, Citizenry and the missions abroad should all work together to achieve that goal of economic development. The key to achieving development is Economic Diplomacy. For some reason or another, many African countries have conducted little or no trade between and amongst themselves. The continent has a population of over 1.2 billion people which makes a good ground for trade.
Zambia is a landlocked country but business minded people have said it is a land linked country sharing borders with 8 countries and 9 if you include South Africa as a trade partner because of the sea ports in that country.
The 8 neighbors of Zambia plus South Africa, the region has a population of over 326 million people. Zambia is included in that figure. Trade experts have said the Democratic Republic of Congo spends about over $1 Billion on importing food with Zambia and Tanzania accounting for two thirds of that Figure. Angola spends about $250-450 million yearly importing chickens from Brazil. Mozambique has been politically unstable particularly the Northern Region of the country. Botswana imports more livestock feed with Zambia and South Africa being the countries they chiefly import from. Zimbabwe has been experiencing economic challenges for sometime now.
Going by this little analysis of the countries around Zambia, it is time the country reset it’s economic priorities. Zambia can take advantage of the demand that the Southern African region is in dire need of. Economic Diplomacy should be applied to ensure countries like Angola look at Zambia as a readily available market for chickens. The Democratic Republic of Congo should benefit from the stability in Zambia by the two countries agreeing to enhance the Cross-Border activities that are going to economically viable for both. Mozambique needs to feed her people particularly the Northern Region. With the instability in that region Agricultural Activities are limited, so it is incumbent on the Zambian government to dialogue with the Mozambican counterparts to enhance trade activities between the two Nations with a bias towards agricultural products.
The Political Stability being experienced in Zambia could be the catalyst the country needs to catapult herself to economic prosperity. It is a known fact that no rejoices in the misfortune of others particularly neighbors but life demands that it goes on in spite of the many challenges beseeching us. Therefore, Zambia should play a leading role by heightening economic diplomacy with her neighbors which is going to mutually beneficial to all.
The time to reset our Economic Priorities is now and this will go along way in helping the country achieve Economic Prosperity as preached by the New Dawn Administration.
Economic Diplomacy is the way to go.