Zambia and Angola have signed six (6) memoranda of understanding (MoUs) aimed at boosting trade and investment in the two countries.
The two countries have signed an MoU on cooperation to facilitate the construction of the Zambia/Angola connection road via the Jimbe border between Zambia’s Ikelengi district in the North-western province and Angola’s town of Luau.
The two nations have also committed to the construction of the Malundo/Sikongo border in the western part of Zambia.
Zambia and Angola have also signed a memorandum of understanding between the Ministries of Justice in both countries to enhance security in the two countries and the region as a whole.
Another MOU signed is between Zambia’s National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) and Angola’s National School of Administration and Public Policies.
The education cooperation seeks to integrate some educational programmes between the two institutions especially in the area of introducing English speaking programmes in Angola considering that the country is predominantly a Portuguese speaking nation and vice versa.
The two countries have also signed a memorandum of understanding between the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and Angola’s Investment Agency Private and Export promotion (AIPEX) which seeks to promote public and private investment in the two countries.
And speaking after witnessing the signing of the MoUs, both President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia and President Joao Lourenco of Angola pledged to work towards the fulfilment of the signed agreements.
The two Heads of State said it does not make economic sense to continue committing to agreements that are never actualised.
Meanwhile, President Lourenco said his country is eager to engage Zambia in livestock trade especially beef, considering that Zambia is sufficiently stocked in that area.
President Lourenco said Angola has identified Zambia as a possible trade partner in livestock considering the two countries’ close proximity.
The Angolan President also called for enhanced cooperation in mining, stating that both Zambia and Angola are rich in minerals.
He said Zambia and Angola can create linkages that encourage the production of finished products arising from its minerals and sold as finished products.
‘’If we take that route, then we shall be guaranteed massive job opportunities for our people and increased revenue for our countries,” said President Lourenco.
And President Hakainde Hichilema noted with great concern that Zambia and Angola have had no developed border between them over the years despite the two nations enjoying peaceful co-existence.
President Hichilema said this situation is hampering trade between the two countries.
“We should connect ourselves via road, railway, air and water transport if we are to enhance economic activities amongst ourselves,” President Hichilema said.
President Hichilema further underscored the importance of investments in the petroleum and gas sectors as a way of ensuring the supply of affordable fuel and petroleum products.
The Zambian Head of State said fuel is a key driver to any country’s economy hence calling for synergies around the energy sector.