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SOLWEZI, ZAMBIA – In line with government’s policy of local procurement, First Quantum Minerals (FQM) has partnered with the Solwezi Trades Training Institute (SOTTI) to make 2,000 school desks. The furniture will be made by students under FQM’s Kwambula training programme at the institute.

The partnership was initiated following government’s policy of procuring desks locally, rather than importing them.
Minister of Technology and Science Hon. Felix Mutati thanked FQM and Kansanshi Mining for supplying the project materials and said the project was in line with the government’s vision to implement policies that support the enhancement and empowerment of local skills for sustainable infrastructure development. Zambia’s number one taxpayer has provided wood and steel valued at over K700,000 for the desks, while the manufacturing will be done by students at the Solwezi Trades Training Institute. The school furniture will then be sold to government for supply to local schools. It has been estimated that there is a country wide deficit of about 86,000 school desks.

Kansanshi Mining Superintendent Training and Development Webby Makoloni said: “SOTTI  and the ministry approached us to see how we can be of help in the project, and because of our strong commitment to help government realise its strategic policies and provide sustainable help to the community we operate in, we quickly bought into the idea”. Meanwhile, Kansanshi Mining General Manager Anthony Mukutuma, in a speech read for him by Corporate Affairs Manager Kyansenga Chitoshi, said the project was a clear example of sustainable empowerment and that the mining firm was happy to be part of it. “We trust that going forward, SOTTI will build on that and have a sustainable business that will eventually sustain its operations,” said Mr Mukutuma. At the same event, North-Western Province Minister Hon. Robert Lihefu urged other corporate institutions to take a leaf from Kansanshi Mine’s community development programmes.

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