Zambia on the hunt for SA investors

Zambia is opting for the tactic of "economic diplomacy" over nationalism to attract mining investment into the country, President of the Economics Association of Zambia, Lubinda Haabazoka, has told Fin24.

A Zambian delegation attended the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Monday to present investment opportunities from countries around the world, including South Africa.

The Mining Indaba is an international gathering of representatives from the mining industry, government and labour, as well as investors, set to take place from Monday to Thursday.

Haabazoka told Fin24 that Zambia was a prime destination for mining copper and emeralds. He said the southern African country was positioning itself to be a preferred exporter of cobalt.

"We want to find out what investors think of investing in Zambia as a strong mining industry. Rio Tinto has expressed a willingness to invest already. We are redefining mining law so that benefits are felt by companies and citizens," said Haabazoka.

Haabazoka told Fin24 that while South African companies such as Murray &Roberts, Shoprite and Pick 'n Pay were already present in Zambia, the country wanted to attract more South African investment, especially in mining.

He said Zambia hoped to extract more social and economic benefits from mines in the country, after heavily subsidising them for years.

However, he said the country was considering more incentives than penalties in encouraging investment.