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Zambia on verge of discovering oil suggests mining minister 

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambia is on the verge of discovering oil and gas after results of exploration works conducted in two provinces situated to the north of the country indicated the presence of hydro carbons, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

Minister of Mines Christopher Yaluma said a consultant engaged to conduct oil and gas exploration in Luapula and Northern Provinces has indicated the presence of hydro carbons in the two areas.

The Zambian minister said this is an indication of oil and gas in the two provinces, according to state broadcaster, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation.

According to him, environmental impact assessment plans have already been done in the two provinces and that the government will soon start getting results that will be announced in the next three weeks.

He added that there is potential for oil and gas in Block 31 and 54 which runs from east Africa through Kenya and Tanzania and Zambia through Lake Tanganyika and then heads to Lake Mweru situated in Luapula Province near the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Zambian minister said the government is elated with the development.

Zambia has been conducting oil and gas explorations for years in various parts of the country.



Israel firm seeks investment in Zambia’s agriculture sector

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- An Israel-based firm has expressed interest in investing in Zambia’s agriculture sector, a company official said on Tuesday.

ZRB Group of Companies said it is interested in partnering with local firms for the development of commercial integrated farming.

Zeez Zacharin, the leader of the company’s delegation which is Zambia to explore investment opportunities following a visit by President Edgar Lungu to Israel recently, said the firm is interested in investing in a number of agro-related fields.

In remarks delivered when the delegation paid a courtesy call on Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya, the official said the company, which is also based in Angola where it produces about 250 million eggs per year, wanted to have a similar production in Zambia as well as engage in the production of 100,000 tons of vegetables per year under an outer-grower scheme with local smallholder farmers.

The firm’s goal, he added, is to train smallholder farmers to produce high quality agricultural products in order to boost Zambia’s food production.

On her part, the Zambian minister said more companies from Israel have expressed willingness to invest in the agricultural sector in the country following the high-level visit to that country.

She said the government is in a hurry to see more investments in the agricultural sector, adding that the investments in the sector will see more Zambian products on the local and international markets and boost businesses of smallholder farmers.


Zambian leader to honor victorious U20 national soccer team

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambia President Edgar Lungu will host a luncheon Wednesday for the country’s Under-20 national soccer for lifting the 2017 Africa cup title, his office said on Tuesday.

The junior Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) lifted the Africa Cup of Nations Under-20 title after beating Senegal 2-0 during the final match played at the National heroes Stadium in Lusaka, the country’s capital on Saturday.

The team is also among three other African teams that will represent Africa at the 2017 FIFA World Cup Under-20 tournament to be hosted by South Korea in May.

“In honor of the victorious Under 20 National Team, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia will this Wednesday hold a State Luncheon for the team and the Football Association of Zambia,” presidential spokesperson Amos Chanda said in a statement. 


Refugees contributing positively to Zambia’s economy: study

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Refugees and former refugees are contributing positively to Zambia’s economy and have the potential to contribute further to the country’s development if legal and other obstacles are removed, findings of a new study seen on Tuesday have shown.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Institute of Economic and Social Research of the University of Zambia, in technical partnership with the Refugee Studies Center, University of Oxford from October last year to January this year, targeted refugees living at two refugee camps in western and northwestern Zambia and former refugees from Rwanda and Angola living in some cities.

According to a statement from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Zambia, it was the first time in Zambia’s 50 years of hosting refugees to formally obtain and document “feedback” from refugees and former refugees on their livelihoods, economic interaction and technological activities.

It added that the findings will provide useful information to the stakeholders in understanding the refugee economies in Zambia.

The finding comes at a time when the government is working on a new Refugee Bill and it will enhance the bill especially on matters that relate to the economic impact of refugees’ livelihood activities, the UNHCR statement said.

“The findings will help UNHCR with information as we make livelihoods interventions. Furthermore, it is our hope that the government of Zambia would consider the findings of this study to inform the future policies on refugees, especially with regard to the various reservations to the 1951 UN Convention,” UNHCR Representative in Zambia Laura Lo Castro said.

According to lead researcher Dr. Mushiba Nyamazana from the University of Zambia, the study specifically looked at the refugees and former refugees’ capacity to invest and employ labor, consumption patterns for goods and services, contribution to human capital formation and value chains participation at small and medium level enterprises.

It also looked at the use and impact of internet and Information Communication Technology (ICT) and challenges faced by refugees and former refugees in livelihoods activities.

According to the lead researcher, the refugees and former refuges in Zambia are doing everything possible, within the available legal and social space, to nurture a livelihood, a move that is making them contribute positively to Zambia’s economy.

The study has also made some recommendations to unlock the potential of refugees and former refuges such as relaxation on freedom of movements and reduce exorbitant fees to obtain a work permit, among others.

Zambia is host to 57,200 people of concern (refugees and former refugees), domiciled in the two refugee camps, urban areas and those who are self-settled in other parts of the country, according to the UNHCR.



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