FQM BOOSTS TENDER TRANSPARENCY WITH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WEBSITE LAUNCH
He said that the launch of the website would bring together businessmen and women including farmers to sell and find markets for their, products and services. “FQM has again proved that they are a partner in development by supporting government’s local content strategy encouraging mining companies to procure goods and services locally,” said Hon. Kapita.
KML’s Trident Foundation has supported the website to help provide opportunities for local businesses as part of the mining firm’s pledge to increase the amount of goods and services it buys from local suppliers.
“There have been accusations against the Chamber in the past of tenders being sent to selected chamber members and members have expressed a need to be updated on local procurement activities of KML. Therefore, in order to ensure more transparency and streamline the procurement process, the Musele Chamber of Commerce and Trident Foundation come up with the idea to create the website. Ultimately, we will also post procurement statistics on the website, together with reports of KML’s business development activities,” said Trident Foundation Manager Garth Lappeman.
Sentinel mine procured US$2.062 billion of goods and services in Zambia from 2011 to 2016, of which US$480 million was spent in North-Western Province. “There is a lot of potential for Zambian businesses but maximising the opportunities requires a concerted effort from all related sectors”, Mr Lappeman concluded. Currently opportunities are largely limited to services and trading, the bigger opportunities will come from increasing the manufacturing base in Zambia.
Mr Lappeman explained that the capacity-building of local entrepreneurs was key to the success of the local tendering drive. KML’s sister mine, Kansanshi, reported that the firm provided 47 intensive five-day courses through its capacity-building programmes and these were attended by 1,236 people between 2010 and 2015.
These courses focused on local contracting companies, aiming at increasing their technical skills. The courses covered topics such as estimating and tendering, reading and interpreting construction drawings, planning and organising a construction project, concrete technology, and quality control, among others.
“In a similar vein KML’s Trident Foundation undertakes annual business formalisation and training processes. In 2017, 657 local businesspeople expressed an interest during the initial roadshow. Out of these, 140 attended a business formalisation with Patents and Company Registration Agency (PACRA) and of the 140, 28 registered their businesses,” explained Mr Lappeman. “These attended a two-week training course. The focus for 2018 is to work with these businesses, provide mentorship and possibly a micro-loan, if they meet our criteria, which include winning a contract with the mine.”
He continued that KML‘s draft local business development policy and plan built on the experience at FQM’s Kansanshi Mine.
Mr Lappeman said that the company had adopted a systematic and coordinated approach to local business development, within both its commercial department and end-users of goods and services of the firm, by enhancing local procurement. We need local businesses to be competitive in price and quality, in order to award them with more opportunities. As part of its drive to increase the proportion of local procurement further, FQM has also partnered with the North-West Chamber of Commerce and Industry to provide a platform where members have access to details of forthcoming contracts issued by its Kansanshi Mine in Solwezi.
The company’s flagship Kansanshi mine bought US$9.172 billion of goods and services in Zambia from 2011 to 2016, of which US$378 million was spent in the North-Western Province. Local business development and procurement have long been a priority at FQM’s Kansanshi mine and also a clear focus of its Sentinel mine’s development agenda. To increase the economic and social well-being of the communities in the areas immediately surrounding Kalumbila mine, and to some extent at provincial level, FQM has also initiated support livelihood projects. To date, the mining firm’s Kansanshi and Trident foundations have spent over US$43 million on social investment in areas surrounding its operations.
FQM recently attended a Parliamentary briefing, where a committee of Members of Parliament reminisced of the days when Zambian industry was growing and provided goods to the mining sector, and expressed strong commitment to identifying and overcoming roadblocks to Zambian Small to Medium business development.
Michael Kabungo, the Town Facilities Coordinator of Kalumbila Town Development Corporation, provided the vision, being the Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) in the newly established ‘Kalumbila town’. The industrial and commercial areas of the town, under an MFEZ, are intended to provide the incentives to boost the local economy, and give real opportunities to Small and Medium Enterprises”, explained Mr Kabungo. The MFEZ awaits signature of the Statutory Instrument by authorities. “