The plan to build this plant began in former President Michael Sata’s tenure (may his soul rest in peace) in order to bring ICTs closer to the people and now it looks like the decision is final and Zambia will have its own computer assembly plant in Lusaka.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Miles Sampa recently announced that the plant will be completed in a period of two years, and should create more job opportunities for Zambians.
This echoes the late President Sata’s sentiments he had shared on his Facebook page in a post stating “Some of the benefits of the computer assembly plant include: job creation, availability of affordable low cost computer equipment to citizens, as well as value addition through use of some local resources such as copper in the manufacture/assembly process.”
We agree. The plant will lower the cost of sale of computers compared to the current expense of taxes on importing already assembled computers.
A computer is a tool which is now almost a necessity in the world over. If more people can afford a computer, it increases the chances of internet access in more areas, increasing the possibilities and opportunities for the people in those areas to thrive and learn new things that improve their well-being.
The plant build will come at a cost:
- land has to be bought,
- a factory has to be constructed
- machines have to be installed
- labor has to be hired, trained (by paid professionals) and their wages paid
- overhead costs have to be calculated too
In the long run, if managed properly, the plant could become a money mill, as computers sold will be cheaper and have huge demand amongst Zambians. It will also be cheaper for neighbouring countries to import from Zambia than from anywhere else so there’ll be demand and profits gained from the region.
I just hope the trainers will be highly skilled professionals who will be committed to ensure that the computers produce in the plant are of world class quality if the move is to be a productive one.
For now, 2017 is all we anticipate to see what yields.