Zambia Chamber of Mines and Prospero signs MOU

ZAMBIA Chamber of Mines (ZCM) and Prospero Zambia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote local content in the mining value chain.  The agreement also seeks to create a platform for dialogue for key players in the mining industry.   Prospero Zambia has been supporting small and medium-sized enterprises to develop capacity to supply goods and services to the mines.In the last financial year, the company spent US$250,000 on supporting mining services.Speaking yesterday during the signing ceremony, ZCM chief executive officer Sokwani Chilembo said the challenging policy environment had constrained investments and growth of suppliers in the industry.Mr Chilembo said this was experienced from 2018 when policy changes were made which had an adverse impact on the sector.He said ZCM is happy to see Prospero investing its own resources in addressing root causes of the glacial rate of local value chain development.Mr Chilembo said some of the challenges include lack of access to finance, business development support and bidding opportunities.He said Prospero should be commended for its investments in local content businesses in the mining value chain and for providing COVID-19 relief funds to local companies.Mr Chilembo said the company has further conducted studies to identify product and service groups in the mining value chain where Zambia has a competitive advantage.He said ZCM looks forward to partner with Prospero in ensuring ambitious and determined local businesses are not left behind in the green copper bull market the world is experiencing today.And Prospero chief executive officer James Blewett said the organisation, through its Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEPZ), has been encouraging mines to buy local goods and services.Mr Blewett said the financing company is further engaging mining companies to promote local content while providing financial and technical assistance to local companies that supply goods and services to the mine.“In collaboration with the larger mines, supplier development programmes are being developed,” he said.Mr Blewett said currently Prospero is actively involved in the identification of viable business opportunities for the local companies.He said Prospero is delighted to formally engage ZCM on promoting inclusive growth in the mining sector.

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