“Our High Commission has been able to maximize economic diplomacy between Zambia and India”
In this interview held at the High Commission of the Republic of Zambia in New Delhi, H.E. Mrs Judith K.K. Kan’goma-Kapijimpanga, High Commissioner of the Republic of Zambia to India, focuses on the deep and abiding relations between India and Zambia. She throws considerable light on the waves of Indian investors who are now making Zambia their second home. She spoke to Sayantan Chakravarty, Editor and Publisher, India Empire Magazine
So, this goes to show just how much interaction is going on between Zambia and India. Also Nava Bharat Singapore Ltd owned by Indians and subsidiary of Nava Bharat Hyderabad has purchased 65 per cent equity shares in Maamba Collieries, and the Government of Zambia has retained 35 per cent. Previously it was a wholly-owned Zambian enterprise. It has also embarked on a USD 750 million project on a coal-fed power plant with a minimum generation of 275 mw using the low-grade coal of Maamba Collieries. Taurian Manganese Ltd has also invested in manganese mining and plans to invest another USD 300 million in construction of manganese processing plant in Serenje District of Central Province. Serenje District is an area which has huge deposit of manganese and other minerals and the Indians are concentrating there in manganese mining. Bharti Airtel launched its new brand AirTel Zambia in November 2010 and invested in network expansion to provide lower tariff and reach out to rural areas to bridge the digital divide. The other major Indian investments include a joint venture Indo-Zambia Bank with 60 per cent equity held by three Indian public sector banks—Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Central Bank of India and 40 per cent by the Zambian Government. Indo Zambia Bank has been in Zambia for quite some time, it is a household name. EXIM Bank of India has equity in Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ). After a debt settlement agreement with the Government of India, EXIM Bank’s equity stands at 20 per cent. So you can see just how much cementing of relationship is brewing between Zambia and India. EXIM Bank of India and Indo Zambia Bank also signed an agreement under which the formal credit of USD 5 million has been provided to Indo Zambia Bank to import capital goods from India. Tata India invested in various sectors including the 5-star Taj Pamodzi, a vehicle assembly plant, the ZESCO and Tata Africa Holdings joint venture company Itezhi Tezhi Power Corporation Ltd (ITPC) for a USD 200 million power project. EXIM Bank of India provided line of credit of USD 50 million to Government of Zambia for this power project.
Tata is also collaborating with the Copperbelt Energy Corporation for a power project in the Copperbelt in Zambia. This is the province that has lot of mineral deposits. And there are various mining companies. Tata acquired a leather tannery from Zambia Development Agency and has undertaken to upgrade the tannery. Tata Consultancy is providing consultancy to ZESCO for the power plant and Zambia Revenue Authority for the development of integrated tax system. Nava Bharat of India recently ventured into a huge sugar plantation. There are also many smaller companies belonging to individual Indians who have gone into Central Province for mining and other issues.
NRB Group of Goa set up a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Lusaka at a cost of USD 10 million. And this is investment by them and not from EXIM Bank. All it takes is somebody to have the faith in a country to invest hard cash. Zambia High Commission in India is doing whatever it can to reach out to potential tourists and investors in an effort to maximize our economic diplomacy between India and Zambia.