CHIEF KAPIJIMPANGA PRAISES ‘UNPRECEDENTED SUPPORT’ FROM FQM
SOLWEZI, ZAMBIA – Work by First Quantum Minerals through its Kansanshi Mining Plc to improve the quality of life for its employees, their families, and their immediate communities has drawn praise from His Royal Highness Chief Kapijimpanga of the Kaonde people of Solwezi district, who has described the mining firm as a good corporate citizen. The traditional leader has also thanked the government for creating a conducive atmosphere for investors to do business in the country.
“If you go to almost each and every community, you’ll find the work that Kansanshi is doing there. They have given us health centres; they have given us schools; teachers’ houses; and houses for health workers. They have gone beyond, to continuously train our youths in skills development. As we speak, right now, we have a group of 25 youths being trained at Solwezi Trades; we have others being trained as truck drivers every month. About 10 of them are being trained by this mine,” said Chief Kapijimpanga.
The traditional leader was speaking during the ceremony for the handover by FQM of a traditional shelter commonly known as the Royal Kinzanza. “This is a mine that has given us unprecedented help; unprecedented support; and we call this best practice. This mine is touching the lives of our people where it matters. From health, education, water, and skills development, they have now gone into art and culture. They are in every area of our lives. And so, we thank God for giving us such an investor. “We are here to give our blessings to this mine. Let this mine grow; let this mine expand. In fact, I have seen it expand; I have seen it employ more of our people, empowering more businesses in this country.”
Among other corporate social investments the mining firm has made in the chiefdom, is the training of women in entrepreneurship skills, and its girl child empowerment programme, which addresses the poverty that is highlighted as the number one cause of teenage pregnancies and early marriages. Kansanshi Mining Corporate Affairs Manager Kyansenga Chitoshi said the facility would cater to all the needs of any conference. -“We are also happy to report that during the construction phase we were able to recruit people from within the community, to have some form of employment, and also to learn some construction skills and knowledge during the construction of the facility.
“We spared no effort to ensure that the facility has offices; it has catering facilities; and the main conference hall is fully equipped. There is also the chief’s throne, which was chosen by the royal Kapijimpanga establishment and was brought here all the way from the United States of America,” she said. The company has over the years stepped up its campaign to end poverty, fight inequality, and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind in the communities where it operates. “Over the past few years, Kansanshi Mining has realised the importance of having good strong communication with all of its stakeholders. All of our stakeholders are very important to us, and because of this, we have made sure that every month we meet with our community stakeholders and we discuss a topic of their choice. So, for example, last week we met with members of the community, our stakeholders, and the topic was healthcare,” added Mrs Chitoshi. FQM has spent over US$100 million on its sustainability and community development programmes by aligning its Kansanshi and Trident foundation programmes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a move that puts the mining giant at the forefront of best practices in private sector social investment locally and globally.