German Digitalisation for 16 million Zambians
How can the digitalisation of public administration in Zambia advance and how can the German and Zambian private sector cooperate in the future? – Such questions were discussed by 150 German and Zambian representatives from the worlds of business and politics at the 1st German-Zambian Economic Forum on 27 and 28 June 2017 in Zambia's capital, Lusaka.
Enlarge image 1st German-Zambian Economic Forum in Lusaka (© Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft e.V.)
The bilateral economic forum is being organized by the Southern African-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft). This first platform for German-Zambian cooperation in the private sector is titled "Partnerships for Zambia's Digital Future". The co-operation partner for this event is the "Strategic Partnership Digital Africa", whose company members presented solutions for e-governance systems and digitalization. A project launched by ibes AG will took place within the framework of the forum. Together with the Zambian tax authority, ibes has developed a system for mobile radio-based tax returns. In Zambia, the project is being implemented in conjunction with GIZ's Good Financial Governance Programme.
Despite the difficult economic conditions at present, Zambia remains attractive to international companies. Approximately 30 German companies, including major German companies such as Siemens, Bosch and BASF, have travelled to Lusaka for the economic forum to present a number of new collaborations. Grips AG, a provider of renewable energy solutions, presented its plans for the realisation of its first pilot plant at a food producer in Lusaka. "Zambia is a very attractive market for us and we are pursuing a number of projects in the country," said Timon Herzog, COO of Grips AG, in the run-up to the forum.
In recent years, Zambia's economy has been mainly dependent on copper. Now the government has placed the top priority on the diversification of the economy and is investing primarily in agriculture and the energy sector. Geographically, Zambia lies in the middle of southern Africa and is surrounded by eight countries. This means that investment in Zambia means not only access to the Zambian market with ist population of approximately 16 million, but to a region that is home to more than 200 million people.