Zambia lacks a strong local intermediate inputs sector. This became apparent during the Covid-19 pandemic, when cross-border supply chains of manufacturing companies were disrupted, and business operations were badly affected. The key reasons for importing intermediate inputs are the local use of outdated technologies and low quality of local inputs. On the other hand, local raw materials are mostly exported without any value-addition. Strengthening local manufacturing value chains helps reduce the dependence on imported intermediate inputs, while adding value to locally available raw materials.
Together with our partners, who include large manufacturing companies in priority sectors; supplier SMEs; Ministry of Commerce, Trade & Industry; Zambia Association of Manufacturers; Zambia Development Agency; and mining companies; we increase local production, local value addition and local supply of intermediate inputs in selected manufacturing supply chains. These partnerships also extend to Supplier Development Programmes for SME suppliers to the mines. In addition, through partnerships with government agencies, associations, companies and other key stakeholders, we help improve the regulatory and business enabling environment in the manufacturing sector based on pressing lobbying issues such as the implementation of local content policies. We offer repayable grants, technical assistance, and partnership development. Skills development and knowledge transfer will be key areas of importance in the initiative.