The Cleaning Association of Zambia has commended President Hakainde Hichilema and the New Dawn administration for attracting over 1.2 billion dollars foreign direct investment at the recently held Africa Mining Indaba.
First Quantum Minerals last Sunday said its board had approved plans for a $1.25 billion expansion of its Kansanshi mine in Zambia, a decision it said was prompted by renewed confidence in Zambia’s investment climate following President Hichilema ascendency to power.
Association President Lawrence Makumbi stated that the announced investment by First Quantum Minerals is welcome as it will change the face of mining in North Western Province.
He said the last time such a huge investment happened in North Western Province is 10 years.
“This announcement is wonderful news to the people of North Western Province and Zambia as a whole. We wish to commend President Hichilema and his New Dawn administration for this achievement,” Mr. Makumbi said.
Mr Makumbi has since appealed to the Ministries of Mines and SME Development to ensure that 80% of contracts to be derived from the investment are allocated to Zambian contractors.
He said in the past, foreign contractors enjoyed the Lion’s share of the contracts even for goods and service that could be supplied by local contractors.
“This time around, we want Zambian contractors to enjoy the fruits of this investment. They now have capacity and experience to meet these Orders unlike 10 years ago.”
Mr. Makumbi said President Hichilema should task his Ministers at Mines and SME’s to ensure that they prioritize local contractors at FQM operated Mines.
He said government should ensure that the 1.2 billion dollars is not extrnalised by implementing preferential procurement using local contractors.
Mr Makumbi has since challenged Banks to come on board and support local SME’s with financial solutions to enable them grow their businesses.
“Now that the investment is flowing, we now want the Banks to come on board and support local SMEs with financial products to enable them grow and meet the supply Orders. What is true is that even these foreign firms, they age supported by Banks from where they are coming from, most of them don’t even manufacture most of the items they supply here, they are just importers or traders and Zambian contractors should also supported in a similar manner,” he stated.