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
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
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.
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 www.ifc.org.