STANBIC: ZAMBIA’S ECONOMY STILL BANKING ON MINING INDUSTRY
The bank said it was also the largest provider of foreign exchange for the country, with over 70 percent of imports being generated directly from the mining sector as well as being the largest employer after the government. “Mining has always been an important part of the African picture and in that context, an important part of the Zambian economy. As the second largest copper producer in Africa, we are poised to further develop the mining sector and that is why Stanbic Zambia, which is part of the Stanbic Group, is taking part in the Investing in African Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town,” said Stanbic Bank Zambia’s head of corporate and investment banking, Helen Lubamba. She said that the 2018 meeting was set to ensure the growth and success of mining in Africa as well as showcasing the progress the continent has made in the sector in recent years.
This year’s conference has attracted 36 ministers from across Africa, including former heads of state from across the continent and 7,500 of delegates from the mining, resources, transport and financial sectors. “This year’s theme is partnership, a new narrative for Africa’s mining industry, and I think it speaks of the fact that we’ve got various stakeholders who have to come together in order to make sure that the value that can be extracted from the mining industry is felt across the continent. At Stanbic Zambia, we are very conscious that Zambia is our home and we know how important is to drive her growth. And that is why the bank has invested more than US$3 billion in mining in Zambia over the past decade. We truly see mining as an economic growth sector,” Ms Lubamba said.
She further added that the mining industry has always gone through peaks and troughs and how it is important for the players in the sector to ensure that they are prepared for whatever phase it is in at any point in time. “That is why the mining indaba remains relevant regardless of whether we are experiencing the peak as we are now, or the lows as we did three to five years ago. Even as we move to be a more diversified economy, mining plays a big role in this development of diversification. With diversification, you get job creation, and you get development in the various sectors of the economy on the social framework of the country, which is why mining still remains significant, even as we move on the journey of fully diversifying our economy,” said Ms Lubamba. Zambia’s conducive investment environment puts it in an advantageous position and there is great potential and room for investment and growth in the various sectors and industries. Stanbic has been a vital part of driving that growth and has financed some of the major projects in the local agriculture, infrastructure, and mining and energy sectors.
Agriculture and agri-business has been one of the main focuses for the bank with over US$155 million invested in the sector and it has spent well over US$150 million and US$385 million in infrastructure development and energy respectively.