Minister of Foreign Affairs , Joseph Malanji has thanked Turkey for its support to Zambia’s development agenda in various sectors.
Mr Malanji who was flanked by Zambia’s Ambassador designate to the Republic of Turkey, Mr Joseph Chilengi, said Zambia appreciates Turkey’s support in the health, tourism, education and media sectors in its quest to achieve the Vision 2030 of becoming a prosperous middle income country.
The Minister said this during a bilateral meeting with Turkish Co-operation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) President, Dr Serdar Cam in Ankara yesterday.
“Some of the priority areas that Zambia would like TIKA to focus its support include tourism development; capacity building as well as mechanisation in agriculture and agro-processing, support to SMEs, power generation, especially renewable energy, construction and infrastructure development, value addition in manufacturing and investment in areas that have high backward and forward linkages such as steel production,” Mr Malanji said.
The minister also called on TIKA to help Zambia mechanise the agriculture sector to enhance food production through donation of tractors and provision of technical know-how for efficient agricultural production.
Mr Malanji expressed Zambia’s desire to host the TIKA regional office in Southern Africa.
“Zambia is strategically situated in the centre of southern Africa, with ease infrastructure interlinks, making it an ideal location for TIKA offices to cover other countries in the region. Attaching a TIKA officer in Lusaka would go a long way in boosting trade and investment and overall cooperation between Zambia and Turkey,” Mr Malanji said.
And Dr Cam said TIKA was ready to support projects in Zambia to further strengthen relations between Zambia and Turkey.
He said TIKA was ready to fund priority projects identified by Government in various sectors and provide capacity building including support to Small and Medium –sized Enterprises (SMEs)
Earlier, the Minister visited Integrated Waste Management (ITC), a waste management company, which transforms waste to energy.
Mr Malanji said the waste-to-energy project was important to Zambia because it is one of the strategic options in waste management , which would ultimately support Government’s efforts in combatting epidemics such as cholera, make the environment cleaner and generate power.
The Minister urged ITC to consider travelling to Zambia to explore the possibility of investing in waste-to-energy projects in the major cities such as Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe and Livingstone
“For instance, Lusaka alone generates more than 600,000 tonnes of solid waste every year and other cities that produce substantial waste include Ndola, Kitwe, and Livingstone,” Mr Malanji said.