KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
ZAMBIA’s economic diversification agenda should be anchored on the promotion and development of industrial clusters, Kafue Steel executive director Julius Kaoma has said.
And Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry director of industry John Mulongoti has advised entrepreneurs, especially women and the youth, to present business proposals to Government for mentorship and linkages to sources of finance.
Dr Kaoma said Universal Mining and Chemicals Limited (UMCIL) intends to internalise everything through steel production at its plant in Kafue.
“We need others to establish smaller manufacturing plants to ride on the back of the steel plant. For example, others should start producing nails, hammers, and other steel products to ensure sustainability of the industrialisation process,” he said during a plenary discussion at the National Economic and Business Conference last week.
The conference was held under the theme ‘Industrialisation – viability and sustainability of industrialisation.’
And Zambia Association of Manufacturers representative Ernest Mande said the country will overcome challenges associated with transfer pricing in the mining industry when cluster industries are established to supply imported products.
Ms Salome Mwansa of SBM Investments asked what will happen to people with good ideas that do not have enough capital to form start-up clusters.
In response, Mr Mulongoti said Government has put in place incubation programmes under Zambia Development Agency and National Business Technology Centre.
In his 1890 book titled ‘Principles of Economics’, Alfred Marshall defined clusters as a concentration of specialised industries in particular localities or industrial districts.