By REBECCA MUSHOTA –
ZAMBIA and Morocco have signed 19 agreements to enhance corporation across various sectors, marking a new level of relations between the two countries.
The agreements were signed yesterday afternoon at State House and were overseen by President Edgar Lungu and King Mohammed VI of Morocco.
This was after the two Heads of State held private talks.
Eight of the agreements were government-to-government, while 11 were between the private sectors of the two countries.
The bilateral agreements were in the economic, scientific, technical, cultural cooperation, political, education, air services, investment protection, industrial cooperation, agriculture and mining sectors.
The ministers that signed on behalf of Zambia were Harry Kalaba, Foreign Affairs, Brian Mushimba, Transport and Communications, Margaret Mwanakatwe, Commerce, Trade and Industry, Dora Siliya,
Agriculture and Christopher Yaluma, Mines and Mineral Development.
The ministers that signed on behalf of the kingdom of Morocco were Saleheddine Mezouar, the minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mohamed Boussaid, Economy and Finances, Moulay Elalamy, minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and the Digital Economy and Aziz Akhannouch, minister of Agriculture and Fisheries as well as Amina Benkhandra, the general director of the Office of mines.
The private sector agreements were in mining, renewable energy, tourism, insurance and establishing a business forum for the two countries.
Speaking during the event, president of the Moroccan confederation of enterprises Miriem Bensalah-Chaqroun said the signing of the agreements was a milestone in the relations between Zambia and Morocco.
Ms Bensalah-Chaqroun said the agreements were in line with the aspirations of the governments of Zambia and Morocco which aimed to improve the lives of the people of the two countries.
“Our common challenges and objectives draw us together as two countries. We have a duty for the future to take the continent to greater heights,” she said.
Ms Bensalah-Chaqroun said that Zambia provided an opportunity for Morocco to enter the southern and eastern parts of Africa through its membership to regional bodies.
Morocco was on the other hand a getaway for Zambia to Europe and Asia.
The Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Geoffrey Sakulanda said that Zambia was a good destination for investment because of its political stability.
Mr Sakulanda said it was exciting to establish a bilateral business forum of Zambia and Morocco because of the huge potential for trade between the two nations.
King Mohammed VI is in Zambia for a three-day visit and he arrived at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport on Sunday at 22:38 aboard his jet.
He was received by President Edgar Lungu and was treated to entertainment by traditional dancers as well as choirs.
He is in the country with a delegation of 589 people, others who also arrived on Sunday on two other aircrafts as well as in the advance party, a week earlier.
Several Cabinet ministers, members of the private sector, media are in his delegation.