Monday, February 18, 2008

Maximise profits from high copper prices, urges Wambuzi

Maximise profits from high copper prices, urges Wambuzi
By Chibaula Silwamba
Monday February 18, 2008 [03:00]

VISITING Ugandan minister of trade, industry and tourism, Nelson Gagawala Wambuzi, has urged the Zambian government to ensure that it maximised the profits from the high copper prices. In an interview in Lusaka, Wambuzi observed that Uganda and Zambia would emerge as strong economies in Africa because of the record high copper prices.

“Of course Zambia like Uganda were copper producing economies; copper prices collapsed and these economies collapsed but right now copper prices are up and therefore the two countries are likely to emerge as strong economies which could contribute to the growth of Africa,” Wambuzi said.

“I am sure the two countries are deciding not to export raw materials whether copper or coffee or cotton but to export finished goods; goods which we have added value and we are partnering in this.”

He said the goal of the Ugandan government was to ensure that every Ugandan family earned US $10,000 (about K37 million) per year so that every family could spend an equivalent of at least US $30 (about K112,000) a day.

“We think that this is the way forward,” Wambuzi said.

The current copper price is about $7,000 (about K28 million) a tonne.

Wambuzi also said Africans should not depend on foreign capital but to mobilise local capital if they were to ensure that local raw materials benefit the local people.

We can create our own capital and we intend to do it ourselves,” said Wambuzi.

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