PEPZ hosts high level roundtable meeting to increase mining sector local content

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A positive opportunity for commercial and economic success

At a roundtable discussion event just held in Lusaka, the Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEPZ) brought together nearly 30 key participants in the mining sector.  Senior representatives from the major mining companies together with the Zambian Association of Manufacturers, the Chamber of Mines, local Chambers of Commerce, the Zambia Development Agency, and other stakeholders including local supplier businesses met to discuss the opportunities and challenges of increasing the quantity and quality of local content in the mining sector.

Levels of local content within the mining sector have become a topic of increasing political and economic concern within Zambia but speaking on behalf of the Zambian Association of Manufacturers, CEO Chipego Zulu commented that the PEPZ roundtable event represented a “valuable opportunity to gather and feed ideas into policy discussion at the highest level”.

The roundtable discussion explored the issues holding back growth in local content and also recognised the commercial and social benefits that can be accrued by developing stronger local supply chains.  Reviewing the proceedings, Eric Miller, PEPZ’s mining sector lead reflected that, “There is a real appetite within the teams from the mines for developing their local supplier base, with the mines keen to share with each other examples of best practice that they are already starting to build”.

PEPZ confirms that, following the roundtable, it is collating all the key points that came out of the debate in the form of a proposed roadmap for increasing the openness of the Zambian mining supply chain to local firms.  This will include a blueprint for a supplier development programme as well as the establishment of a mining industry dialogue forum which will meet regularly to monitor and assess progress in local content development as well as allowing for sharing of best practice.

On the basis that managing improvement is difficult without accurate measurement, Jeff Geipel from the Mining Shared Value team at Engineers Without Borders introduced the group to the idea of a consistent method of measuring local content.  Following his recommendation, it is intended to develop such a method that can give a way of tracking improvements in local content throughout the mining sector.

Anthony Kabaghe, President of the Kitwe and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated that, “the next step is to produce a working document that we can all use as a roadmap to implement changes that will support growing local content in the mines.  The Chambers of Commerce are delighted to be involved; we know our membership and we know the needs of the mines so we are ideally placed to take on the role of honest broker between the mines and our members”. 

Reflecting on the roundtable session, Mr Kabaghe congratulated PEPZ on bringing together so many key stakeholders so that they could collaborate on finding solutions.  “Previous initiatives to improve local content {in the mining sector] have largely been developed without establishing stakeholder engagement.  This is different, with everyone buying into the process”.

 

 


ZDA’s Director of Enterprise, Mukula Makasa, gathering input from other stakeholders at the PEPZ roundtable to set the roadmap towards greater levels of local content in the mining sector

 

 

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