Fears and questions have often been asked about the economic viability of Barotseland. On the Barotseland Economic Forum we will focus on exploring the development prospect of Barotseland and see which areas and sectors of economic development can Barotseland leverage post independence.
What is your take on the subject? Can you give specific areas of economic activities that you think Barotseland can explore and exploit as we determine our own economic destiny?
As Barotseland National Youth League we have been prompted to write on the matter of Barotseland's economic development because of the increasing perceived assertions that the people of Barotseland will be extremely poverty stricken after attaining independence especially the fact that Barotseland has been ranked the poorest in the country despite her being a nation or country in the former so called unitary state of Zambia.
One exciting and interesting thing is that most people who fear and are worried are the Barotzish living in the Diaspora and only a few live in Barotseland.
As some of the Barotse Nationals who were born, grew up and spent most of our lives in Barotseland, we want to urge all those worried Barotzish on the economic status of Barotseland to be at ease, because God has given us vast land and natural resources from which we can survive as a country.
If we look critically and analyze Barotseland's vast natural resources, we will realize that in fact Barotseland has more natural resources than most African countries. For instance Malawians depend on tourism and tobacco, but they are surviving. Another good example is Egypt which depends much on the river Nile for her economical development. There are so many countries that we can cite as examples.
In the following passage we have tried to analyze and explain the economy of Barotseland, so that even the Barotzish who come from the most humble background can understand and know what we are talking about because we have used simple methods, ways and explanations on how we can survive economically as a country, though we are not economists.
There we go:
(1) Let's look at how much musuhela (grazing grass) go to waste every year, we usually end up burning it because it is so much such that even our cattle fail to finish grazing it. Isn’t that a potential source of income if put to good use other than burning it?
Of course it is an income because that musuhela can be gathered together and be packed in bundles and then exported to countries like USA, UK, Botswana, etc, as stock feed for cattle, goats, sheep and so on and so forth and that can bring in a lot of cash to our treasury as a nation.
(2) In addition to that, Barotseland has vast water resources. Some of this water can be processed into mineral water which could be called, for instance, Barotseland mineral water and then we can export it.
(3) We can also have a glass factory in Barotseland because we have a lot of sand. This too can bring in a lot of cash in our treasury and also increase in job creation. Some people may not know this, but records exist which indicate that some of the sand used in the defunct Kapiri Glass Factory (Zambia) came from Barotseland.
(4) Fish farming can also be introduced at a large and commercial scale and have a fish processing factory and we can export tinned fish.
(5) Poultry farming can also be revamped and be run at a large scale and be exported.
(6) We can also process dog feed from both fish and chicken crumbs.
(7) Crocodile farming can be expanded and its meat can be tinned and then exported. In fact, crocodile is one of the most expensive meat at the international market and its fat can be exported.
(8) We can also have factories that can process the crocodile skins, cattle skin and goat skin into leather bags, belts, shoes as well as leather hats and coats.
(9) Rice farming can be commercialized and expanded to a large scale and it can be exported and its remains (chaff) can be processed into stock feed and be exported.
(10) Barotseland has a lot of mango trees and most of these mango fruits go to waste. We can have mango juice factories and export the juice. This too can bring in a lot of cash into the Barotseland Central Bank or treasury.
(11) The cattle rearing or farming can be revamped and be done at a large scale and we can export tinned beef and milk to other countries.
(12) Piggery can as well be revamped and expanded at a large scale and Barotseland can export pork and sausages to the international market.
(13) Cashew nuts (simbangala) can also be revamped and expanded and it can be processed into finished products such as cooking oil, soap and we can manufacture fertilizer from cashew nut waste.
(14) Apart from the Kuomboka ceremony, we can also revive mooli wa mbeta island to be a tourism heritage site. This too can bring cash flow into the Barotseland treasury and increase the country's revenue collection.
(15) We can also have sugarcane plantations at Libala la matebele and Luena flood plains. This as well can be increased in Barotseland.
(16) We can have processing plants that can process mungongo and munyeteuyele fruits into olive oil.
(17) Mubula, mumbole, muzauli and mukuwa fruits can also be processed into juices according to their names and this too can be exported.
(18) Waterfalls such as Sioma, Ngwezi can be harnessed for Hydro Electric power generation and also for tourism.
(19) Sandy beaches and river basins are tourist attractions as well as for recreation sport such as surfing, regatta, swimming etc.
These are some of the already existing opportunities that we can leverage and by the way market for these services and products readily exist even in the region.
We also know (though we do not want to go to that extent at this moment) that there has always existed talks about gold, oil, gas, diamonds, etc in Barotseland. We are of course yet to know the validity of these minerals’ existence.
There are so many national resources that God has given Barotseland and all we need to do is be innovative, creative and hardworking as a country to ensure that we develop our nation and we should not expect any person from outside Barotseland to come and do everything for us.
As Barotzish we are known for honesty and hard work the world over. Let's keep the same spirit.
In conclusion we wish to appeal to members of the international community worldwide to come and invest in Royal Barotseland, the land flowing with milk and honey, you are welcome and must feel free to enter into diplomatic relations with Royal Barotseland. Doing so is not interfering in internal affairs, as Barotseland is now free to pursue its own economic and political destiny.
Investment opportunities will be given on first come first served basis.
Kinako yakuipusa BULOZI KI BWALUNA!!