LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – One of Africa’s largest copper mining companies, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has joined with the Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEP-Z) to explore ways to include more local entrepreneurs in its supply chain.
The two signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today, in which both organisations agreed to further opportunities for local economic development in areas around KCM’s operations.
“Our aim at KCM is to encourage economic diversification of the Copperbelt and throughout Zambia. We aim to work with partners that have similar objectives and complementary skills. We look forward to working with PEPZ and helping to create wealth within and outside of the mining sector,” KCM Vice President Local Economic Development, David Paterson, said during the signing ceremony.
The Private Enterprise Programme Zambia, which is funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development(DFID) aims to strengthen and build the capacity of Zambia’s private sector to create jobs and contribute to the diversification of the economy. PEPZ will work with Zambian enterprises that have the potential to grow, create jobs and contribute to economic diversification.
KCM is one of the largest copper mining companies in Zambia, with operations in Chingola, Chililabombwe, Kitwe and Nampundwe, and is currently developing a local economic development strategy with the intention of extending the economic benefits of its operations further into the communities in which it operates.
“Mining is the backbone of Zambia’s economy,” said PEPZ Programme Manager Bayo Akindeinde. “It is only correct that as many Zambians as possible participate and benefit from the sector and contribute to the value chain through the products, services and skills they specialise in.”
Under the MoU, PEPZ will work with KCM to assess the capabilities of prospective and existing local small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) suppliers known to have potential to do meaningful business with the mine. The assessment will inform the design of supplier development interventions that will ensure that such firms are more competitive and able to supply KCM’s requirements.
PEPZ will also work with the mine to improve the capacity and capability of SME suppliers, providing access to business development support and technical advisory services including access to finance where needed.
Both organisations aspire to contribute to the growth and diversification of the Zambian economy.