By BUSINESS REPORTER
THE high price on multimedia equipment in Zambia is hindering the development of tourism and arts industry in the country, says Alliance for Luapula Young Entrepreneurs (ALYE) Executive Director Edwin Nyirongo.
Mr Nyirongo said many Zambians were failing to invest in the sector particularly in the entertainment industry due to high cost of running such businesses.
He said in an interview that Zambia was among countries where multimedia production equipment had remained very high.
“When you talk about tourism and arts many people think it’s only hotels, game parks and other natural structures which is not the case. Tourism and arts is a complex sector. It includes film and music. And speaking of the film industry, this is one of the highest sources of income for many countries like South Africa and Nigeria,” Mr Nyirongo said.
He said the tourism and arts industry contributed significantly to Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa because governments in those countries were paying much attention to the sector.
“Go to Nigeria and you will be surprised how many jobs the entertainment industry has created. When you talk of Nollywood we are talking about thousands if not millions of people who have been employed as script writers, producers, content directors, cinematographers, sound engineers, and so forth.
“We can do the same here in Zambia if our government can introduce measures that will address the challenges affecting the industry. Government should among other things remove the tax on all multimedia production equipment being imported into the country,” he said.
Mr Nyirongo said the price of video production equipment, for instance, were beyond the reach of many young Zambians who want to invest in the sector.
“I will give you an example if you want to import a red dragon professional high definition camera it will cost you not less that K500, 000 and that is if you are buying a second-hand,” Mr Nyirongo said.