Copperbelt Provincial Permanent Secretary Augustine Kasongo has observed that there is a need to formulate policies that can effectively support the local manufacturing industry.
Mr. Kasongo said his office was aware that local manufacturers are grappling with the challenge of scarcity business locally as industries such as mines prefer imported products.
He also cited lack of financial support and inadequate marketing as other challenges affecting local producers.
Speaking during the Local Content Conference and Expo organised by the Zambia Association of Manufacturers at Protea Hotel in Ndola, Mr. Kasongo said locals were not supporting products being manufactured in the country.
He said the manufacturing industry was sad that the mining sector was importing goods that are also being produced locally.
Copperbelt Provincial Permanent Secretary further challenged local manufacturers to widely market their products.
I wish to confess that our Zambian manufacturers are given support that they require they are equal to the task. I have seen the items they have exhibited. Some manufacturers are even exporting their products. The trend that we have is that most of the products have been certified to be used in the mines and in most institutions like the Zambia Police, Zambia Army but the complaint manufacturers have is that we are not giving them support as Zambians. We are not buying their local products. We are busy importing products that they are able to manufacture here in Zambia. If few of them are exporting to Zimbabwe and Congo but the Zambians especially the mining sector is not giving manufacturers the support that is needed. So we need to ensure that we do some deliberate policy of ensuring that we support our Zambian businesses because if supported it means we are creating employment for our people,” Mr. Kasongo said.
He added that high lending interest rates are equally hindering the growth of local businesses.
Mr. Kasongo said the support of the local businesses was key to job creation which is part of the UPND Government agenda.
“Production of goods and services will go up then there will be a need to employ some more people but if we continue importing it means we are denying the growth of our Zambian businesses and of course one of the challenges that have come out very prominently is that they require financing. Affordable financing because you know they are unable to access financing the interest rates are very high. If there could be a way that this aspect of funding is looked at to give capacity to Zambian businesses to grow. Once they grow we will create more employment for our people and that is the agenda of the new dawn government,” Mr. Kasongo said.
Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) President Ashu Sagar asked the government to ensure that local products are supported, especially by the mines.
The mining industry in Zambia consumes a significant amount of manufactured products however different studies have shown that 90 % of manufactured products consumed by the local mining companies are imported. The need to strengthen the linkages between the manufacturing sector and the mining sector in Zambia cannot be over emphasised,” Mr. Sagar stated.
That is an area that needs addressing………
Supplies to the mines must be 90% produced in zambia…………..
The mines have on average 20 years life , by that time industries would have long diverted to exports…….
Inforce PPE in all sectors, mines, building industry, garden boys…etc. For health and safety reasons, workers need PPE; boots, hi vis, gloves, hard hats. These are things we already make in zambia. Then control chinese imports of the same goods.
If mines had an average 20yrs lifespan then it wouldn’t have been possible for Zambia to have continued mining since 1920. Even long closed mines like Kalengwa are being revived. Apart from Kansanshi, Lumwana and Trident Kalumbila the rest are older than 60yrs. Nawakwi told the same lie when the MMD embarked on the infamous privatization exercise. She bluntly told us that KCM wasn’t going to last beyond 10yrs, Vedanta has been mining for over that period and currently there’s a scramble for that asset. On what basis are such statements made? or what’s the motive?
Zambia has one of the most unfavourable conditions for manufacturing industries, some regulations are nonsensical. Just to manufacture wheelbarrows you require a plethora of licenses and permits apart from taxes which sometimes are taxes on taxes. Inspections and fees are another nuisance. Most manufacturers survive by hot declaring the exact tax return. When it comes to consumer products Zambians are not supportive, they believe quality goods come from abroad. MoH spends in excess of US$60M on antibiotics alone every year. You’d wonder how companies like Gamma Pharmaceuticals went down. A Zambian executive would rather bring expired drugs from India as long he’s received his cut. Whom can you point an accusing finger at?
All of this , from the year 2021 will change. Start counting……we are currently on food and grain embargo, we want all main agricultural products to ve zero imports but 90% exports after surplus is met. WIth mines, dont worry, its already in the draft plan. Infact the plan doesnt end with supplying only ,if i heard correctly, the president said all Mukula starting 2021 ,can only be held by a Zambian, and all new Mining licences can only be held by a Zambia(who will in turn partner with large corporations that have machinery & capital). So when people come here to complain about supplying it means tha they dont listen when the head of state is speaking and instd are waiting on the President to himself take a mining licence to their homes.
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