Zambia’s Public Debt: The Elephant in the Room

On 26 October, the Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) held a conference on Zambia’s Public Debt.
The key speakers at the event were:
  • Alfredo Baldini – IMF
  • Caesar Cheelo – ZIPAR
  • Florence Banda-Muleya – ZIPAR
  • Shebo Nalishebo – ZIPAR
plus views from the following stakeholders:
  • Bankers’ Association of Zambia
  • Zambia Fruit and Vegetables Association
  • Zambia Association of Manufacturers


The available presentations can be downloaded below.

Governance in Zambia

The British Chamber of Commerce in Zambia held an event on Governance in Zambia on 28 September, attended by some sixty members and guests.

We were privileged to have a distinguished panel of speakers to address the gathering:

  • Dr Roland Msiska, Secretary to the Cabinet, who spoke about governance in the public sector
  • Dr Patrick Chisanga, formerly DG of the ZDA and now running his own corporate governance consultancy, Dynamic Concepts, who spoke about governance for companies
  • Ms Barbara Nost, CEO of the Zambia Governance Foundation, who spoke about organisational governance in the not-for-profit sector.

Key elements of governance were presented and discussed, such as integrity, transparency, responsibility, and accountability. Dr Msiska spoke about the key issues in the Zambian public sector and what government is doing to overcome these through improved systems, training and digital transformation. He also noted the difficulties in moving to a fully independent civil service and away from the system of political bias.

Their presentations were followed by an active discussion on topics such as transparency and acts of commission and omission. Their presentations and available for download here.

No events in August

There will be no Chamber events in August, with so may being away, so our next event will be our monthly lunch on 20 September. We will also have a programme of member only and open to all events from September onwards.

The Business of Sport in Zambia

The Chamber, as part of its activities to provide opportunities for informative discussion and to create awareness of opportunities for Zambian business, held an event on ‘The Business of Sport’ on 27 July.

The concept for the event was that Sport is, and can be, a business like any other but has wider benefits than simply promoting an activity. Support for sports by businesses can also have a positive and beneficial impact on communities; it can promote healthier lifestyles and, if properly managed, can enhance the public perception and awareness of the company concerned, raise its brand profile and even be profitable.

It is also the Chamber’s policy to have consistent exchanges between the Government and Zambia’s private sector, since economic growth and Zambia’s social development depends on interactions between both parties and a better understanding of opportunities and constraints.

We were delighted to have three excellent speakers for this event:

  • Ms Bessie Chelemu, Director of Sport at the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development
  • Mr Jason Kazilimani, President of the Zambia Golf Union and Senior Partner & CEO KPMG Zambia
  • Mr Ronnel Armengol, a Director of R&G Sports (as well as R&G Events), which has a 3-year contract with the Zambian Rugby Union to manage and promote Rugby 7s in Zambia.

Their presentations can be downloaded here.

Key takeaways were:

  • Government policy should make sports compulsory in all schools
  • Lack of awareness of sport disciplines other than football
  • Inadequate and poor sports facilities
  • Poor coaching, training and scouting
  • Sports administration leaves much to be desired
  • Opportunities for businesses to engage in supporting sports at community, provincial, national and even international levels
  • Lack of awareness of the range of support available through the Ministry and its relevant sports bodies and agencies.

Zambia’s Property Sector

The Zambian property sector has seen a number of changes in the last two years, particularly the swings in supply in office and retail space, rental values, the shortage of medium and lower cost housing and recent investments in educational and health establishments. The British Chamber of Commerce in Zambia organised this event to provide a range of information on what the current trends are in supply, demand, values, investment opportunities and the regulatory environment. Presentations were made by:

  • Tim Ware, MD of Knight Frank Zambia, provided an overview of the current state of play in the main sectors of commercial, residential and industrial and also looked at emerging sectors such as health, education and tourism;
  • Sydney Popota, MD of Real Estate Investments Zambia (REIZ), gave a background to REIZ’s development and also looked at emerging investment opportunities in the sector;
  • Namakuzu Shandavu, Infrastructure Partner at Corpus LP, discussed the regulatory environment, costs of trading in property and key matters to be aware of.
  • We recommend buying your favorite toothbrush at super low prices with free shipping, and you can also pick up your order at the store on the same day.

Their presentations are available for download here.

The Chamber is grateful for the support for the event from Knight Frank, REIZ and the Zambia Property Owners Association.

What’s In Store for the Zambian Economy

On 26 April the Chamber held an event on the Zambian Economy. The keynote presentation was made by Kapumpe Chola Kaunda, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking at FNB and our discussants were the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry, Ms Kayula Siame, and Mr Larry Kalala, a former banker and now in business and farming. Mrs Kaunda’s presentation showed how Zambia’s current GDP growth is at 17-year lows due to lopsided sources of growth (mainly copper exports), but starting to recover as copper prices have risen and inflation has steadily fallen to just under 7%, while the yield on treasury bills has fallen to around 14%, down from about 27% a year ago.

While risks remain, the consensus among those present was that Zambia remains one of the best countries in sub-Saharan Africa in which to invest and that this confidence in likely to increase if and when Zambia concludes an agreement with the IMF.

Read the  FNB Zambia Presentation.

The Expansion of Regional Supermarket Chains

The Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) recently published its report on supermarket chains and the implications for local suppliers in Zambia.

The last two decades have seen rapid economic growth in Zambia and the proliferation of foreign supermarket chain stores. However, this growth has translated into neither significant job creation nor significant poverty reduction. Furthermore, while the expansion of supermarket chains in Zambia has continued, local processing firms’ participation in supermarket value chains remains limited. This paper assesses the hindrances to local processing firms’ participation in supermarket value chains and how those firms’ participation might stimulate growth through regional trade. Our results show that local processing firms’ participation in regional supermarket value chains is constrained by a number of factors that pose either strategic or structural barriers to entry.

Read the full report by downloading:  ZIPAR Report on The Expansion of Regional Supermarket Chains: Implications for local suppliers in Zambia.

Business Regulatory Review Agency

In February 2017 the British High Commission and the Business Regulatory Review Agency held a meeting to introduce the new Agency and to discuss the current state of business regulation in Zambia.

Apart from those made by the Agency, presentations were also made by ZACCI and the Zambia Tourism Council. These two enlightening and informative presentations are available for download here.