News Details

1st German-Zambian Business Forum

18.08.17 AHK Süd-Afrika - News-Hauptkategorie

Lusaka, 27th–28th June 2017 - How can the German and Zambian private sector cooperate in the future? This question was the focal point at the 1st German-Zambian Business Forum, which took place on 27-28 June 2017 in Zambia's capital, Lusaka. 30 representatives of the German private sector, including blue chips such as Siemens, Bosch and SAP, participated in the business forum, where a number of new bilateral collaborations were presented.

Zambia’s Finance Minister Felix Mutati officially opened the business forum, which saw 150 German and Zambian representatives from the worlds of business and politics in attendance. He highlighted that “this Forum underlines that the shyness, that has been associated with German investors is going away and they are beginning to break ground in Zambia in different initiatives.” 

In her opening speech, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Margaret Mwanakatwe, stated that Zambia was among the best destinations for investments in the region and that the country is open to welcome German investors. 

Zambia is already home to 30 German companies and German Ambassador Achim Burkard observed in his opening remarks “that Zambia has received an increased interest from the German private sector, especially in the field of renewable energy and agriculture.”

This first platform for German-Zambian cooperation in the private sector was titled "Partnerships for Zambia's Digital Future". The co-operation partner for this event was the "Strategic Partnership Digital Africa", whose company members such as SAP, KPMG or Veridos present solutions for e-governance systems and digitalisation.

The German ibes AG launched a public private partnership project that will be implemented in conjunction with the Zambian Revenue Authority. The project was officially kicked off in the framework of the business forum by Kingsley Chanda, Commissioner General of the Zambian Revenue Authority (ZRA), and Rainhard Nidel, chairman of the ibes AG, in a signing ceremony. With support of the, a financial support scheme of the German Ministry for Economic Development the project is being implemented in conjunction with ibes AG, ZRA and the GIZ's Good Financial Governance Programme in Zambia.

Speaking on the energy panel, Owen Silavwe, Managing Director of Zambia Cooperbelt Energy Coorporation (CEC), asserted that the corporation is committed to contribute to the energy mix of Zambia arising from the power supply challenges that the country has been experiencing, by investing 51,3 US$ million in total. “We have started with a one megawatt solar project in Kitwe to be commissioned before the year ends to cost 1,3 million US$,” Mr Silavwe stated at the forum.

He went on to say that the main purpose of the initial project is to develop the internal capacity of CEC engineers in undertaking and managing solar power. As part of CEC’s corporate social responsibility, the project will also be availed to the Copperbelt University (CBU) to train students and that with through the cooperation with the AHK Representative Office in Lusaka and the GIZ, a German institute was identified that will work alongside the School of Engineering at CBU in partnership with the power utility. Mr Silavwe stated that CBU and the German institute will work together to develop a curriculum for students, who will be trained in solar technologies and develop exchange programmes. “The university (CBU) has attached lecturers to the project. We want to make the facility available for the university to train students so that we can start to produce engineers that have capacity to work with solar technology,” said Mr Silavwe. “This is very important, given that the country is beginning to realise a number of solar projects. Developing our own local experts is a key component of our project and we are happy to make that available to CBU.”

Also on the energy panel, Timon Herzog, Chief Operations Officer of Grips Energy AG, a provider of renewable energy solutions, was presenting its plans for the realisation of its first pilot plant, installed for a Zambian food producer in Lusaka. "Zambia is a very attractive market for us and we are pursuing a number of projects in the country," said Timon Herzog, in the run-up to the forum.

On the Agricultural Panel, Eike Hupe, Managing Director of BASF in Zambia, reported on their experiences around the Lima Chuma project that had officially been launched in the Southern Province of Zambia in 2014. This is a partnership-driven initiative with the Zambia Conservation Farming Unit (CFU), the NGO Musika, Omnia Fertilizer, and DuPont Pioneer.

Lima Chuma, which means ‘Cultivating Prosperity’, takes an integrated approach to accelerating small holder agriculture in Zambia. Lima Chuma is aimed at providing smallholder farmers with agricultural tools such as basic farmer education, improved access to products and services and productivity enhancing technologies that will significantly improve yield output. In addition, Lima Chuma is providing smallholders with good agricultural practices, crop marketing knowledge, post-harvest management and financial acumen, Eike Hupe reported.

Hupe said of the project, “BASF believes that modern agriculture, including the responsible use of crop protection products, is vital to meeting Zambia’s fast growing demand for food. This is precisely why we kick-started this initiative. Our goal is to help small farmers increase their agricultural output.” Therefore, under Lima Chuma, the private sector-driven holistic service will disseminate technical information to smallholder farmers on the range of agricultural products being supplied by the consortium partners. Furthermore, the project will enable farmers to access general agriculture production information that will make their farming more cost effective. Over time, these activities are expected to improve agricultural production and productivity per unit area from the current national average of 2 tonnes/ha of the maize crop to 5 tonnes/ha, which is within smallholder management capabilities. [Read more]

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