Strengthening local procurement in the Zambian copperbelt

Kumi was commissioned by the Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEPZ) to develop the strategy for a co-ordinated programme to increased local procurement amongst mining companies operating in the Zambian copperbelt region. PEPZ is a five year (2014-19) private sector development programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The context for this project is that despite mining having been a mainstay of Zambia’s economy for over 100 years, only a small proportion of mining companies’ expenditures on goods and services are with Zambian businesses. A 2014 study by the ICMM found that around 5% of companies’ expenditure on goods was with Zambian suppliers, and that despite significant levels of social investment there remains widespread mistrust and sometimes hostility towards mining companies from communities within the copperbelt region. Improving the levels of local procurement from the Zambian mining industry that spends over USD 3 billion per year on goods and services would substantially improve the positive socio-economic development impacts of the industry.

Kumi undertook a series of fieldwork visits to engage with stakeholders in the region to understand their perspectives, challenges, ambitions and concerns relating to the participation of Zambia SMEs within mining companies’ supply chains. This research culminated in a White Paper on local content in the Zambian mining sector and a roundtable workshop, facilitated by Kumi and PEPZ, that brought together mining companies, SMEs and local chambers of commerce to agree a ‘road map’ for strengthening local procurement in the region.