Journalist Nikiwe Bikitsha says there is a proliferation of shopping malls in Lusaka, mostly occupied by South African retail chains like Pick n Pay and Shoprite.
While this has raised questions around the Zambian government’s legislation concerning local ownership, Bikitsha says there are challenges involved in bringing goods into the country because it is land locked.
You cannot walk 50 meters without seeing one of the major household names and they happen to be the anchor tenants at most of the shopping malls around Lusaka, names like Shoprite, Pick n Pay.— Nikiwe Bikitsha, Journalist
I am told it is indeed a concern but how the Zambian government does in fact legislate is that it does have a certain requirement that there be a certain percentage of Zambian ownership as far as that is concerned.— Nikiwe Bikitsha, Journalist
Local Zambians are very involved small and medium enterprises such as local markets that we have been to, construction and building those shopping malls and the very burgeoning housing sector as well.— Nikiwe Bikitsha, Journalist
The other key African story is that women are driving these economies at a small and micro medium enterprise level.— Nikiwe Bikitsha, Journalist
Drawing on some of the challenges faced by South African companies, Bikitsha says importing goods has proven to be tricky, especially with perishable goods.
Roads are not great. I was having dinner with a South African company which imports wine and they were telling me their trucks can take ten to 15 days to get to Lusaka.— Nikiwe Bikitsha, Journalist
If we don't fix the roads, the rail, the infrastructure which makes it easier to transport goods between our countries, we are not going to boost trade.— Nikiwe Bikitsha, Journalist
Click on the link below to hear more about Nikiwe Bikitsha's business travel and some of the conversation she has been engaged in.