BCC Reaction To Brexit

The UK has voted, by about 1.2m votes, to leave the EU in the referendum on 23 June. The precise implications of this are, as yet, uncertain – apart from a rapid depreciation of Sterling against most currencies, though whether this is just a knee jerk reaction by forex markets or a longer term position remains to be seen. For companies in Zambia trading with the UK, goods and services will, in the short term, be cheaper is USD terms in the short run but caution should be exercised until the political and financial dust has settled.

The reaction of the British Chambers of Commerce in the UK can be found in this press release – BCC reaction to Brexit

The State of SMEs and Entrepreneurship in Zambia

May event pic 2

The British Chamber of Commerce, in association with and support from the Private Enterprise Programme in Zambia (PEPZ), held an evening event in May 2016 on The State of SMEs and Entrepreneurship in Zambia. One hundred members and guests attended, which led to a lively discussion following the formal presentations.

These were made by:

  • Bayo Akindeinde, Programme Manager of PEPZ;
  • Sonny Zulu, Standard Chartered Bank Head of Retail for Zambia and Southern Africa
  • Renata Zeravica, Procurement Manager, SPAR

A common denominator in most presentations were the need for up-to-date and relevant documentation on company products, services and finances (including a legally incorporated company); an ability to supply consistently in terms of quality, packaging and delivery and the need to have barcodes on product packaging. It was also noted that start-up finance for new companies can be hard to obtain from traditional sources which is why programmes such PEPZ, with its Nyamuka Business Plan competition, and the associated Accelerator Fund provided by Kukula Capital play an important catalytic and support role.

The presentations by PEPZ and SPAR can be downloaded below:

Economic Diversification in Zambia’s Agriculture and Tourism Sectors

Hon Lubinda at BCC April event

The British Chamber of Commerce, in association with and support from the Indaba Agriculture Policy Research Institute held an event on Economic Diversification in two of Zambia’s key sectors at the Taj Pamodzi hotel in April. This was attended by over 80 members and guests.

Presentations were made by:

  • Hon. Given Lubinda, Minister of Agriculture
  • Jacob Mwale, CEO of the Zambia Agricultural Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE)
  • Felix Chaila, CEO of the Zambia Tourism Agency
  • Edjan van der Heide, Chairman, Kafue Park Operators Association.

The Minister of Agriculture opened the event by informing the meeting that the intentions of the Government of Zambia in agriculture were enshrined in the National Agricultural Policy. Specifically, he mentioned that the goal was for Zambia to be a net exporter of food and to be the food basket of the COMESA region.

The strategies to be employed in realising this included:

  • Use of improved crop varieties and certified seeds. He stated that the Government would not adopt GMO technology just yet.
  • Emphasis on the agricultural farm block development to address the issue of having infrastructure that will attract agricultural investment.
  • To put 7,500 hectares of land per year under irrigation.
  • Increase the adoption of mechanisation across the country. He stressed that he was of the view that the hand hoe is an archaic technology that belongs to the museum. In this regard the government was going to set up mechanisation centres across the country.
  • Diversification from maize was also stressed as a central strategy so that the country can exploit many other enterprises that are available with Zambia’s vast resources. The electronic voucher which was piloted last year and allowed farmers to choose enterprises that they deemed suitable was meant to encourage diversification. He added that even the traditional Farmer Input Support Program had now included more agricultural enterprises.

The Minister informed the meeting that the issue of agricultural subsidies in both input and output markets was difficult to address. He admitted that the fiscal space for the subsidies in Zambia that were mostly focused on maize and maize products was limited but stressed that many countries in the world including Europe still had subsidies. He reported that he was willing to listen to those that could suggest ways out of the subsidies for Zambia.

Here are the presentations made by the other speakers

Event on Alternative Finance (subject to confirmation)

The British Chamber of Commerce, in association with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is planning to hold an event on Alternative Finance. The key speaker will be Professor Raghavendra Rau, the current holder of the Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professorship of Finance at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. He also heads the Centre for Alternative Finance. This will be an outstanding opportunity for Zambian companies, whatever their size and stage of growth or development, to learn more about ways to finance their businesses. Other discussants will be announced later.

Planned date and Venue: Wednesday 22 June 2016 at Taj Pamodzi Hotel at 18:00 (please note this will be on a Wednesday rather than our usual fourth Thursday of the month)

Zambia International Investment Forum 2016

The Zambia International Investment Forum will take place on the 21st and 22nd April at Mulungushi International Conference Centre. The theme will be “Investment for Industrialisation, Wealth and Job Creation”.This event is organised by the Government of the Republic of Zambia through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, the Zambia Development Agency and the UK investment platform Homestrings Ltd.

For more information please contact Mulemwa Moongwa, Homestrings Events Consultant: zambia@homestrings.com +260 955 867396 or visit the website at: www.homestrings-events.com/ZIIF2016.

Visit by the Lord Mayor of London

The Rt. Hon The Lord Mayor of London, The Lord Mountevans, is making a visit to Angola, Zambia and Mauritius during his term of office. He will be visiting Zambia from 24 to 27 February, together with a delegation from the professional snd financial services sectors in the UK. While here he will be having meetings with President Lungu, a number of government ministers and others, visit the Lusaka Stock Exchange, meet leading members of the business community and representatives of professional and legal services companies in Zambia.

Members of the British Chamber of Commerce in Zambia will have a special opportunity to meet the Lord Mayor and his delegation at a breakfast meeting on 25 February, kindly sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank. The British Chamber of Commerce will provide an objective network for the Lord Mayor and his delegation to tap into and gain private sector insights into Zambia’s business environment.

The event is open only to members of the BCC by invitation.

Employee Engagement and Business Performance

Kelvin Sokuni of KSM speaking at the BCC event on 26 November
Kelvin Sokuni of KSM speaking at the BCC event on 26 November

Some 45 members and guests attended this event at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel on 26 November 2015.

Growing a company or even sustaining one in the current economic climate is not easy and calls for a regular review of operational efficiency, careful control of cash-flows, constant monitoring of changes in the market, keeping customers satisfied and productivity.
At this event our speakers gave lively and informative presentations on the topic of Employee Engagement and Business Performance – for the two are closely linked. For businesses to grow and be profitable now and over the next decades they will need staff that are informed, have the right skills, are productive and innovative – at all levels.

We were fortunate to have with us two highly experienced discussants who used their experience and expertise to help chart the way forward.

Kelvin Sokuni, CEO of KSM Management Consultants, a highly respected HR practitioner and consultant with many years of senior management experience in major Zambian companies and Nankhonde Kasonde of Tuntulu, an Organisation and Relationship Systems Certified Coach and Chair of the Zambian Coaching Association.

Bites from their presentations included:

  • Be smart – hire smart
  • Don’t let your employees delegate to you
  • Disengagement starts at the top
  • The modern employee wants an environment where they can explore and innovate

Ms Kasonde presented some interesting and worrying statistics from the 2011/12 Gallup Global Survey, which revealed that:

  • 10% of employees are actively committed
  • 57% merely put in time
  • 33% act on their discontent in counter-productive ways

Their presentations offered a number of strategies and ideas that led to an active discussion and, from reports, much follow-up activity with the presenters.

New Membership Category Criteria and Subscription Rates for 2016

We have reviewed the membership category criteria and subscription rates for 2016. Taking into account practices adopted by other organisations as well as changes in the value of the Kwacha, we have increased the category bands for Small companies to revenues of less than K5m a year, for Medium companies to revenues from greater than K5m and less than K50m and for Large companies to revenues greater than K50m. Subscription rate increases have been kept to between 25% and 33%. in Kwacha terms but a reduction in USD terms.  The new criteria and rates are set out in the downloadable application form.

Subscriptions can be paid electronically or by leaving a cheque at the offices of Knight Frank next to the Ministry of Finance. Please ensure all payments show your company’s name

As a special offer we are offering a 10% discount on the new rates for new subscriptions and renewals paid before 31 December 2015. If you need an invoice please let us know and we will send you one.  Current members do not need to complete another application form but merely make payment identifying the company.

Visit the Membership Page to download the application form.

EU pumps €40m in private sector  

CAROLINE KALOMBE, Lusaka

EUROPEAN Union Head of Delegation Alessandro Mariani says his organisation has set aside 40 million euros to improve the regulatory framework as a way of supporting the private sector.

Mr Mariani said in Lusaka on Thursday the money is meant to boost private sector participation in the economy and foster its role in poverty reduction through job creation.

He was speaking during the British Chamber of Commerce meeting with co-operating partners in Lusaka.

Mr Mariani said the funding will also be used on pilot projects proposed by the private sector.

He said improving the policy framework will boost the role of the private sector in national development.

The sector, Mr Mariani said, needs proper regulation to operate favourably and ensure sustainable growth and generate jobs.

“The private sector is key to business and development. It provides affordable goods and services and an engine for innovation. By reducing risks of investment, the private sector provides additional resources in the economy where they invest,” he said.

Mr Mariani said the EU has shifted support to include focus on energy and agriculture sectors as the country moves to diversify its economy.

“There is need for diversification of energy sources. Hydro power has served the country well and will continue, but we know its limits such as climate change,” he said.

Mr Mariani said the energy sector has raised a lot of interest from European investors and that ensuring a regulatory framework that provides an enabling environment for such investment to flourish is important.

And Department for International Development (DfID) economist in Zambia Annalise Raue said the funding agency is supporting Zambia in reducing poverty through various private sector initiatives.

Ms Raue said DfID has provided US$16 million for private sector enterprises for six years, which will ensure US$30 million of investment and create 40,000 jobs.

She noted that Zambians need to participate adequately in the economy and that change can only come from them.

Credit: Zambia Daily Mail

CEOs’ Lunch – 21 October 2015

Presentation on economic crime at BCC lunch 21-10-15

At the October CEOs’ Lunch, attended by 40 members, guests and others who find our events a great networking and learning opportunity, Malvi Chavda from Pricewaterhouse Coopers gave a presentation on the results of their 2014 global survey on ‘Economic Crime: a threat to business processes’.

Over 5,000 senior officers from business, government and public sector organisations, of which 83 from Zambia. Key findings of this survey for Zambia and globally are that:

  • Asset misappropriation is the leading form of economic crime: 81% in Zambia and 69% globally
  • Bribery and corruption ranks second: 35% in Zambia and 27% globally
  • Procurement fraud comes third: 30% in Zambia and 29% globally

The survey finds that the cost of economic crime in Zambia is relatively high compared to Africa and Global levels. The survey reveals that 46% of Zambian respondents reported that the cost of economic crime was between $100k and $1m, while in Africa as a whole, 29% of respondents reported that they suffered less than $50k from economic crime, less than the 32% global figure.

Economic loss is not the only concern that companies face when combating crime. Respondents pointed at damage to employee morale and business relations as some of the most severe non-financial impacts.

The survey shows that most fraud is committed by internal fraudsters, according to 65% of Zambian respondents compared to 63% in Africa and 56% globally. Of these, most in Zambia are junior staff members at 54% followed by middle management at 46%, while the wider African and global findings show that fraud is perpetrated first and foremost by middle management (a trend now evident in Zambia in the preliminary 2016 survey findings).

The report also covers many other aspects such as stopping and preventing fraud, cybercrime, perceptions of the related legal environment and a global perspective. To find out more and to download a copy of the survey, go to http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/services/advisory/consulting/forensics/economic-crime-survey.html.

If any members of the Chamber wish to attend the PwC launch event for the next report in February 2016 or in case there are any queries, please get in touch with Malvi at  malvi.chavda@zm.pwc.com or on 0967 862 743.