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Negative publicity hurting Zambia international image: think tank

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- The negative publicity Zambia is getting on the international scene following the arrest of the country’s leading opposition leader over treason charge has potential to ruin the country’s image and affect investment flows, a local think tank said on Thursday.

The Center for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) said the negative publicity Zambia was getting in the recent past had potential to ruin the country’s only chance to revive the economy through a financial bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“CTPD is concerned about the growing negative publicity of Zambia which has now penetrated the international media platforms. CTPD is of the considered view that there is need to come together as a nation and find common ground that can help to resolve the current situation which if left unresolved can send the country into serious problems,” Isaac Mwaipopo, the think-tank’s acting executive director, said in a statement.

The situation may affect government’s ability to borrow from cooperating partners such as the IMF as governance rating was one important element used in determining a country’s ability to access international financial support, the statement said.

“Zambia is currently negotiating with the International Monetary Fund for financial support, failure to conclude the bailout package for whatever reasons might have severe implications for the country’s economy as the IMF bailout stands to be one option that could help improve Zambia’s credit rating,” he added.

Last week, former finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane warned that the country’s political situation had a potential to deter would-be investors since the international community was keenly following the events happening.

He told local media that potential investors would soon start shunning Zambia because of the escalating political tension.



Zambia developing Master Plan to develop tourism

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government said on Friday that it was in the process of developing a master plan that would enhance the development of the tourism sector.

The master plan will focus on restoring and enhancing the tourism sector in the southern African nation.

Minister of Tourism and Arts Charles Banda said the master plan was going to focus mainly on the infrastructure of the country’s tourism sector.

“The ministry is doing everything possible to reroute tourists into the country, it was for this reason that the ministry is developing the master plan that is targeting at infrastructure such as airports, lodges to turn the country into a regular hub for tourism in the region,” he said after a meeting traditional leaders from Botswana, according to a statement released by the ministry’s public relations unit.

The master plan would see local communities being involved in the realization of the country’s tourism dream, he added.

The traditional leaders from Botswana were in Zambia to appreciate the country’s efforts of cultural tourism and to exchange ideas on the matter, the statement said.

The traditional leaders also wanted to know how best connections and linkages between tourism and culture could impact the livelihood of local communities.


Zambia says U.S. climate change deal withdrawal to hurt developing nations

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- The decision by the U.S. government to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Agreement will affect developing nations like Zambia, a senior government official said on Friday.

Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Lloyd Kaziya said the planned withdraw was a blow to developing countries who were adversely being affected by the negative effects of climate change.

Developing countries, he said, needed developed nations like the U.S. to help in mitigating the side effects of climate change, adding that the withdraw of one major developed countries was a blow, according to HOT FM radio.

“It is a serious tragedy because we need these super powers to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. Right now we are struggling to get financing from the Green Climate Fund and the decision by the U.S. will just worsen the situation,” he said.

On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he will withdraw his country from the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The announcement has received criticism from many parts of the world, with environmental campaigners saying American absence will make it considerable harder for the remaining countries to reach their agreed goals, given that the U.S. was responsible for about 15 percent of global emissions of carbon and promised 3 billion U.S. dollars to help other countries.

The Paris Agreement commits the U.S. and 187 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

U.S. payments to the UN Green Climate Fund, which helps developing countries cope with the effects of climate change, will stop following the announcement to pull out.



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