Chinese-run economic cooperation zone boosts development in rural Zambia
CHIBOMBO, Zambia, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- The establishment of the Zambia Jiangxi Economic Cooperation Zone in Chibombo District of central Zambia has brought newfound optimism and economic opportunities to local residents.
Since its inception in 2018, the zone has already become a beacon of hope, creating much-needed jobs and paving the way for a brighter future for the district.
Chibombo, a predominantly rural area with close-knit communities, has long been faced with limited employment opportunities. As a result, many residents were forced to migrate to other places for better opportunities, leaving behind ancestral lands and tight-knit communities.
However, the establishment of the Zambia Jiangxi Economic Cooperation Zone signified a turning point for the district.
This zone, managed by Jiangxi United Industrial Investment Limited, aims to stimulate economic growth, generate employment, and foster local development.
Locals have warmly welcomed this investment, seeing it as a catalyst for positive change. They said the existence of the economic zone in Chibombo is a chance to break the cycle of poverty and create a better life for themselves and their families.
"The opportunities this economic zone brings to our district are immense. Its expansion will lead to the growth of other smaller businesses that depend on a robust working class to thrive," said Markson Lwanga, a 30-year-old Chibombo resident.
Lwanga, a plumber, expressed hope that his skills will one day enable him to land a job in the economic zone, which offers a diverse range of employment options.
Anna Mwansa, a 23-year-old resident of Chibombo who secured a job as an administrative assistant with the Chinese company five months ago, shared her joy at obtaining employment.
"I had challenges finding a job. After many years of hunting for a job, I managed to get one. I can now support my family and invest in my fruit and vegetable business. The zone has changed my life," said the mother of one.
The positive impact of the Zambia Jiangxi Economic Cooperation Zone extends beyond job creation. The zone has spurred infrastructure development.
Improved road networks, electricity supply, and water resources have been provided to support not only the successful functioning of the economic zone but also surrounding homesteads and businesses.
"We want to ensure that communities around the zone benefit from the electricity, good roads, and water reticulation services," said Bob Fu, business development manager of Jiangxi United Industrial Investment Limited.
Fu added that once fully operational, the zone is expected to employ about 6,000 people.