Press Releases

IFC Supports Small Business Development in Zambia with Links to Large Projects

In Johannesburg
Daniel Musiitwa

Telephone: +2711 731 3175


In Washington

Thoko Moyo

Telephone: +1 (202) 458 8517


Kitwe, Zambia, December 15, 2006 – The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has launched a partnership with three leading mining firms in Zambia aimed at developing supply opportunities for local small and medium enterprises. The three partner mining firms are Mopani Copper Mines, First Quantum Mining and Operations Limited, and Kansanshi Mining Plc.

Under the program, IFC will help the three mining firms develop and increase the local involvement in their supply chains.

IFC’s Country Manager, Andrew Alli, noted, “This partnership provides a unique opportunity to maximize the economic and development impact of Zambia’s copper mining sector by developing local suppliers. The aim is to mobilize, train, and support over 50 Zambian small enterprises.”

At Mopani Copper Mines, for example, inadequacies in the local manufacturing sector have forced the company to import most of its supplies. “Imported materials account for more than 60 percent of the goods and services we presently use,” said Tony Weber, the company’s supply manager.

The Zambian government expressed confidence that IFC’s partnership with the mining sector would create confidence in the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of local suppliers. “We want to see the fruits of this partnership trickle down to additional sectors and other parts of the country. The copperbelt suppliers program must, therefore, brace itself for more work,” according to Dr. Kalombo Mwansa, Zambia’s cabinet minister responsible for the mining sector.

The Copperbelt Small and Medium Enterprise Suppliers Development Program follows a study jointly commissioned by IFC and Zambia’s mining sector to assess the existing supply chain serving the country’s copper mining industry. The study, conducted by the University of Witswatersrand, South Africa, in June 2005, identified specific sectors with the greatest potential for local supplier development. These included supplier of pumps and valves, protective wear, storage equipment, health and safety equipment, drilling equipment, and consumables, as well as companies providing such services as metal fabrication, civil construction, and precision engineering.

IFC has mobilized $900,000 in technical assistance for the copperbelt program, which will complement the $450,000 committed by the participating mining firms. The program is expected to mobilize more than $10 million worth of new investment.

About IFC

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistances and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1billion in technical assistance and advisory services. For more information, visit