- Zambia's acting president Rupiah Banda has assured foreign investors not to panic, saying he will keep up to economic policies highly praised by international donors.
Mr Banda said that, if elected, he would continue to pursue the same liberal economic policies which Zambia put into place under government of late president Levy Mwanawasa.
Mr Mwanawasa, was credited with prudent economic management and tackling corruption. He helped turn Africa's biggest copper producer into a rare success story on the continent.
Banda pledged to protect foreign investors, saying their money generated wealth and jobs for Zambians. "We welcome all foreign investors for as long as they obey the laws of our country and protect our people and the environment. I will in the next few weeks announce new economic measures," Mr Banda said.
Mr Banda defeated finance minister Ng'andu Magande to become the Movement for Multiparty Democracy's (MMD) candidate for 30 October election and the competition for party leadership had raised questions over fate of finance minister and other senior officials.
"These policies have made us one of the most stable countries on African continent. Let us remain united as we go for elections," Banda told reporters at the launch of his presidential campaign.
Zambian economy experienced unprecedented growth under Mwanawasa's rule, which international community, including World Bank and International Monetary Fund have hailed as a model for fiscal discipline.
Opposition Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata who narrowly lost to Mr Mwanawasa in 2006 is expected to be Banda's main rival.
In an apparent policy shift designed to reassure foreign investors, opposition leader Michael Sata has also said he would welcome Chinese investors in the country's mining industry.
Mr Banda, 71, served as foreign minister before he was appointed Zambia's ambassador to United Nations and later to Washington in the first government of president Kenneth Kaunda.
He was appointed vice president by Mr Mwanawasa in 2006.
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