from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA – ZAMBIA has signed a couple of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with some Chinese-headquartered information and communications technology (ICT) companies.
President Haikande Hichilema confirmed the agreements during his state visit to Asia’s global powerhouse, where he arrived this past weekend.
Among the MoUs sealed at the southern technology hub of Shenzhen this week, is with Huawei.
The president said this was after recognising the urgent need to rapidly develop Zambia digital platforms as part of his government’s smart economic transformation agenda.
He believes through the deal, Zambia fully digitised to benefit citizens, especially rural communities.
Hichilema also announced an MoU with ZTE, a leading global ICT solutions provider.
Through the agreement, ZTE is to set up a smartphone assembly plant in Zambia, at a time that has not been disclosed.
“This will be a game changer that brings many jobs, as we increase digital solutions to citizens through our E-government division,” Hichilema said.
A meeting was also held with internet services giant, Tencent.
“We encouraged them to consider opportunities in Zambia for digital platforms, as we push to transform our country into a modern economy through tech advancement,” Hichilema said.
He has been in China at the invitation of his counterpart, Xi Jinping.
Speaking in the Zambian capital Lusaka, Ambassador Du Xiaohui stated the two countries were writing a new chapter in their “all-weather” ties.
The two heads of state jointly drew up a new blueprint for the development of China-Zambia relations, which will have a lasting and far-reaching impact on bilateral relations,” the envoy stated.
Zambia was the first country in Southern Africa to establish diplomatic relations with China, in 1964.
In 2022, China-Zambia bilateral trade volume reached US$6,73 billion (¥49 billion), a year-on-year increase of 30,2 percent. It is a record high.
“China-Zambia relations stand at a new starting point,” Xiaohui said.
– CAJ News