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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Zambia records U.S. $3.9 billion dollars
projected investment in 2018   

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambia recorded about 3.9 billion U.S. dollars of projected investment in various sectors of the economy in 2018, its investment agency said on Wednesday.

Of the total projected investment, the energy sector recorded the highest value at 1.5 billion dollars, representing 39 percent of the total, followed by the manufacturing sector with 708.4 million dollars while the mining industry was third with 241 million dollars, according to the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA).

Cosam Ngoma, the investment agency’s acting director-general, said the increased projected investment in the energy sector was a direct result of government’s efforts in the promotion of increased investment in alternative sources of energy in addition to hydro power after experiences of 2015 and 2016 when the county faced a power deficit.

He said in a release that 21.7 million dollars out of the total projected investment went into various multi-facility economic zones and industrial parks around the country.

The investment resulted in the creation of 20,709 jobs in 2018, he added.

“Given the conducive climate such as political and economic stability, ease of doing business and good governance, investment into the country is projected to increase,” he said.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Zambian annual inflation rate goes up in December

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambia’s year-on-year inflation as measured by the all items consumer price index increased by 0.1 percentage point in December from the previous month, its statistics agency said on Thursday.

The annual inflation rate increased to 7.9 percent in December from 7.8 percent in November, according to the Central Statistical Office (CSO).

“This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 7.9 percent between December 2017 and December 2018,” Goodson Sinyenga, acting director of the statistics agency told reporters during a monthly briefing.

The increase, he said, is mainly due to non-food items such as household furniture and furnishings and transport.

But the month-on-month inflation declined in December to 0.8 percent from 0.9 percent the previous month.

The annual inflation rate is line with the government’s projection in the 2018 budget where it targeted an annual inflation rate of between 6 to 8 percent.

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Students in Zambia public universities urged to be
calm over gov’t plans to scrap meal allowances

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- A union representing students in Zambia’s public universities on Monday urged the students to be calm and not to cause anarchy following reports that the government intends to scrap meal allowances next year.

There is growing anxiety among students from public universities following reports attributed to Higher Education Minister Nkandu Luo that the meal allowances will be scrapped from next January.

Misheck Kakonde, president of the Zambia National Students Union, called on the student population to be calm as the union has opened what was described a fruitful dialogue with the authorities over the matter.

He said the union wants to get a clear position on the matter from the authorities on whether the reports were correct or not.

“We are not aware of any regulations or statutory instrument that could have been issued to abolish the provision of meal allowances, as yet,” he said in a press release. “The report must not raise any unnecessary anxiety among students.”

He said government delays to meet its obligations in paying allowances, which are part of the students’ loan and grant agreement, must not become an excuse for students to cause unrest or damage to public property.

Delayed meal allowances caused student unrest in Zambia’s public universities in the past.

Last week, students at a university in Kitwe, in Copperbelt Province, protested over delayed payment of the allowances, caused damage to some vehicles.

In October, a student at the University of Zambia, in Lusaka, the country’s capital, died due to suffocation when police fired teargas in student hostels to quell riots over meal allowances.

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