Zambia has not fully exploited the potential of economic zones like China has done to accelerate industrialization in order to enhance economic growth, a development expert said on Thursday.
The southern African nation needs to emulate China which has exploited the potential of economic zones in order to accelerate development and reduce poverty.
“China has used economic zones to expand growth and use that growth to alleviate poverty,” Haggai Kanenga, lecturer and researcher in the Department of Development Studies at the University of Zambia (UNZA) said in an interview.
While commending China for assisting Zambia in establishing its first economic zone, the expert said it was unfortunate that the country has failed to utilize the lessons learned from China in ensuring that the economic zones become centers of industrialization.
He said it was time Zambia started utilizing the knowledge from technical assistance provided by countries like China in coming up with homegrown programs that will spur economic growth.
“China is willing and has shown willingness to show us one or two things but mere learning without doing these things will not result in poverty reduction,” he added.
He said China has gone out of its way to train officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and UNZA on the management of the economic zones, adding that the knowledge acquired must be utilized to exploit the economic zones.
China, he said, has also opened an agricultural demonstration center through UNZA where technical knowledge on agricultural productivity was being provided, adding that Zambia needs to utilize such type of assistance to promote growth. Enditem