Zambia a service hub?

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By Brian Mulenga

To be frank, our logistics make it very hard for Zambia to aspire to be a manufacturing country. Our landlocked location makes it very hard to make anything in Zambia cheaply.

Everything must come in from the coast and it must come by road. Our other transport links simply cannot do the job. Our railways and of those of our neighbours are dilapidated or destroyed.

However there are certain things which we can do which dont need logistics. Services. We do have sme advantages where services are concenrned.

Take law. Our lawyers are trained in English common law. The number one place for International contracts is London. Needless to say our lawyers are a hell of a lot cheaper than English lawyers. We know the essentials of contract law which is rooted in the English Common Law so why cant we become a hub for generating legal documents for the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and wherever English COmmon Law holds sway ?

We have a lot of unemployed IT support engineers or employed but earning peanuts. Why are Zambians not doing online support and why Indians seem to have cornered that business?

Why are we not tutoring people online? Why are our teachers not teaching people virtually?

Why are we not doing data entry for the whole world?

Then there is my pet hobby horse. Aviation. Why are we not the maintenance hub for aircraft in Africa? Why are we not training pilots in Zambia after all we have 300 plus days of sunshine?

We have several hydroelectric dams in Zambia how come we are not making money training people how to operate hydroelectric dams? Wait actually we do KGRTC does that!!!

My contention is agriculture is not the answer to Zambia’s economic development and its unemployment problems. You see everywhere else in the world people LEAVE Rural areas for Urban areas. As agriculture improves it becomes more productive and needs LESS labour not more. So paradoxically jobs move out of the farm when agriculture takes off !!!

My view is we need to become the backoffice of Africa. Services is our future. Why should we listen to Indians when we have a problem with our computers? Why cant we listen to the deep Tonga accent of an engineer from Dundumwezi?

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31