PEPZ chief speaks at Lusaka mining conference, ZIMEC 2017
The recently appointed team leader of the UK aid-funded Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEPZ), James Blewett, spoke on the opening day of the 7th Zambia International Mining and Energy Conference (ZIMEC) which is taking place in Lusaka this week.
The theme of Mr Blewett’s speech was the challenges faced by the mining industry in increasing the proportion of goods and services for the mines that is sourced from local Zambian suppliers rather than imported from outside the country.
“The mining companies, their potential suppliers and the Zambian Government all want to see more local procurement in such an important sector”, commented Mr Blewett. “This represents a great opportunity for local firms to up their game and become a part of this important value chain. Our aim at PEPZ is to help make this happen”, he added.
PEPZ has strong links with the Zambian mining sector and is already achieving results. The Steering Committee that guides the activities of the PEPZ Business Linkages team is led by the Chairman of the board of directors of Chibuluma Mines, Jackson Sikamo. PEPZ is currently working with seven mining companies in order to help develop business linkages between these large corporations and local enterprises.
“In the past 2 years we have been working to develop the managerial and technical capacities of 34 local firms in North-Western Province and the Copperbelt”, explained PEPZ Business Linkages manager Donia Benmiloud. “The challenge is to help Zambian entrepreneurs and their businesses meet the expectations of large corporate partners. If we can achieve this then there are positive outcomes for everyone”, she added.
About the Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEPZ)
Funded by UK aid from the British Government the Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEPZ) has been established to support local businesses in all sectors. We encourage entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into business reality and help micro, small and medium sized firms, which are the drivers of job creation and wealth, to develop and grow. We identify business needs and address those needs through improving access to quality business development services, facilitating access to finance and by the forging of partnerships between large corporations and potential Zambian suppliers to open up routes to market. We work to change and improve attitudes towards entrepreneurship and encourage women and young people to seize the opportunity to participate in the business world. PEPZ achieves these goals through an integrated programme of four interlinked components: the Nyamuka Zambia Business Plan Competition, Business Linkages, Business Development Services, and an Accelerator Fund.
Further information can be found at:
Email [email protected]
Phone +260 211 259974