CYNTHIA MWALE, Livingstone
ZCCM-Investment Holdings says there is need to increase the participation of local businesses in the mining sector for the country to benefit from the over US$2 billion worth of services that is out sourced annually.
Company chief executive officer Pius Kasolo said despite the country having local skills and capacity, financial support also remains a hindrance to propel improvement in industrialisation to create the much-needed jobs and wealth.
Making a presentation on the role of mining in business reforms, industrialisation and job creation on Wednesday, Dr Kasolo, said while mining firms are making strides in improving the economy, more needs to be done to strengthen local content and establish more factories within the country to manufacture products required by mining companies.
“One cannot disagree with the need to increase Zambian participation in the mining industry. Furthermore, the vision for the local content initiative was part of the diversification strategy to ensure sustainable economic growth and job creation beyond the mining sector,” he said, at the 8th Ease of Doing Business Initiative conference.
According to a study prepared for the Zambia Mining Local Content Initiative, it is estimated that local out sourcing is at about US$ 2. 8 billion per annum, comprising equipment and mining services (35 percent of total expenditures), consumables, parts and components, maintenance (40 percent) and low tech manufactured goods at five percent while basic services stood at 20 percent.