Over the last two years, Zambia has gained visibility and has started to attract increased investor interest as an emerging impact investment location in Southern Africa. And this is an accelerating trend thanks to continuing, concerted efforts to strengthen the impact investing ecosystem in the country.
The recently formed National Advisory Board (NAB) on Impact Investing for Zambia – recognized by the Global Steering Group at its annual summit in 2019 – is spearheading efforts to bring more investable opportunities to the table, raise investor awareness of Zambia, build local intermediation capacity and advocate for better impact investment regulation. In partnership with the NAB, the UKaid funded organization Prospero Zambia is working to provide the financial and technical support required to bring the impact investment revolution to Zambia.
Zambia is well-known for its copper-based, raw-material exporting economy; but economic diversification and increasing investment in value addition are accelerating as businesses gear up to serve a growing and urbanizing population
Pioneering Zambian businesses are attracting increased investor interest, offering growth opportunities and significant, positive social and environmental impacts.
SMEs specializing in activities such as food processing, solar energy and other renewables, and conservation tourism are key players in a new generation of Zambian businesses that have successfully raised impact finance to support business growth. Over the last two years, Prospero Zambia has been working with such businesses to make them investment ready – guiding them through the process of preparing for due diligence, meeting potential investors and negotiating investment deals.
This effort has borne fruit – so far Prospero has helped to complete 10 deals with a cumulative value of £41,444,212. At the same time, new local specialist players are emerging as effective deal making intermediaries and as financial and non-financial service providers – helping to bring growth businesses and impact investors together.
The vision for Zambia is that it will emerge as a regional hub for impact investment in Southern Africa – surrounded as it is by other early stage but high potential markets such as Botswana or DRC. There is a long way to go, but the ambition is clear and investors more familiar with Nairobi or Cape Town are starting to pay attention.
In this context, the NAB is now working with private sector and government stakeholders to promote tangible and lasting change in the impact investing ecosystem to allow more deals to be done – vital for the growth of a country that has seen general economic growth and boasts massive natural resources, but has seen poverty incidence increase in recent years. The NAB is committed to working with all stakeholders to realise the potential for investment in sectors including agriculture and food value addition, sustainable tourism and conservation, as well as health and education.
The NAB with the support of UK consultancy firm Social Value Solutions (SVS) is now launching an Impact Investment Climate Survey for Zambia and wants investors to help shape its future priorities.
The survey will target leading impact investors who are considering or currently operating in Zambia itself, in the southern Africa region. The NAB wants to understand better how much investors know about Zambia and how they perceive the country as an investment location. If the dream of the regional hub is to become reality, the NAB needs to have a solid evidence base for its advocacy efforts within the country. By understanding what investors know about Zambia and how investors feel about Zambia, the NAB will be able to target its resources most effectively.
Embrace Digital Learning as Schools Reopen
ZAMTEL has urged school administrators, parents and guardians to embrace digital learning even as learners in non-examination classes return to classes today.
Zamtel Corporate Communications Manager Changwe Kabwe noted that learners should be encouraged not to abandon the use of e-learning platforms they adopted during the period when schools were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr. Kabwe stated that it is critical that school administrators fully integrate some aspects of delivering lessons digitally as part of embracing the New Normal.
He said during the period of school closure, Zamtel observed growing interest from learners to shift to digital learning as an alternative which should not be allowed to die down as classes reopen.
Mr Kabwe said Zamtel launched Smart Revision and the e-Learning portal to help bridge the learning gap created by the school closures and to popularize digital learning.
He said the number of learners interacting with the two platforms on www.smartrevision.co.zm and www.elearning.co.zm since they were launched in April has been encouraging.
“We have seen thousands of learners interacting with the two platforms and we would like that to continue even as these learners return to class today. We should get to a point where digital learning work side by side with conversational modes of delivering education,” Mr Kabwe said.
He announced that Zamtel is working on school based subscription packages which will allow schools to purchase subscriptions for learners.
“We are ready to work with school administrators to ensure that e-Learning is not left by the side as our learners return to class. We need to maintain the gains recorded during the closure period and integrate digital learning into mainstream modes of teaching and learning,” Mr Kabwe said.
Mr Kabwe also announced that Zamtel will soon introduce additional features on its e-learning portal such as online live lessons to be conducted by teachers with approved curriculum by the Ministry of Education.
“What the last few months have shown is that virtual learning is going to be the new Normal and we are excited that these learning tools provided by Zamtel have enabled thousands of learners to access quality education. We are pushing up our efforts to get more schools adopting the use of digital platforms to deliver education services,” Mr Kabwe said.
Zamtel is Zambia’s only total communication solutions provider. Zamtel is 100 percent owned by the Zambian Government through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), providing voice, data, fixed, internet, MPLS and business continuity services to businesses and individual customers in Zambia. Zamtel is committed to make a difference and empower communities as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.
This is according to a press statement by Zamtel Corporate Affairs and Government Relations Unit.
Lafarge Zambia supports the community through promotion of sport and wellness
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