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.
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Zambian truck drivers urged to exercise caution on South African roads, following violent attacks against foreign drivers.
ZAMBIA’S High Commissioner to South Africa Major General Jackson Miti has called on Zambian truck drivers on the South African route to be cautious on the roads following an eruption of violent attacks against foreign drivers in some parts of that country.
This is according to a press statement issued by Mrs Naomi Nyawali, First Secretary Press and Public Relations at the Zambia High Commission in South Africa.
Maj Gen Miti said this in the wake of violent protects in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal Province, in which hundreds of locally engaged truck drivers protested against the use of foreign truck drivers.
Maj Gen Miti said the safety of Zambian truck drivers was cardinal and advised them to ensure they avoided being victims of violent protests currently going on in some parts of South Africa.
He said the High Commission would continue monitoring the situation and advise accordingly.
Maj Gen Miti added that so far, no Zambian was affected by the violent atacks against foreigners, particularly more visible in Durban where a number of trucks are reported to have been torched.
According to the Road Freight Association in South Africa, about 30 foreign truck drivers have so far been attacked across South Africa in the last seven days.
SADC Ambassadors in Berlin call for greater unity for economic diplomacy
THE Ambassador of Namibia to Germany H.E Andreas Guibeb has called for strengthening of regional groupings in Africa such as SADC because they have the ability to collectively develop the African continent and make it a bigger player in the global economics and politics.
“There is saying that you can go far along but you can indeed further in unity hence the reason the importance of regional groups such as our SADC which we must continue to strengthen,” said Ambassador Guibeb.
The senior Namibian envoy was speaking at a small farewell event that was hosted by the Ambassador of Zambia to Germany H.E Anthony Mukwita on Axel Springer Strasse on Wednesday.
“There is no problem too big or too small for Africa to resolve as long as we put our heads together in unity to find a lasting solution,” Ambassador Guibeb said.
The SADC group of Ambassadors is regarded to be one of the most organized diplomatic groups in Berlin with its own monthly meetings and events to push the economic diplomacy agenda of the member states.
It also uses the platform to champion other causes of concern for the region such as energy or agriculture development or mere solidarity when it feels that a member state has been wronged, with the mandate from home countries.
With a total population of about 400 million people and an almost 1trillion-dollar GDP, the group that comprises, Angola, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo is widely seen as an economically progressive regional grouping.
Despite having a southern regional agenda, the group in Berlin has often included other African countries on the continent. For instance, Nigeria, the continent’s largest economic powerhouse was represented at the event by Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar.
Another Ambassador the group was bidding farewell to was H.E Calvin Masenyetse from the Kingdom of Lesotho who hailed his stay in Germany and interaction with colleagues as a milestone in his diplomatic career.
“Balozi’s (Ambassadors) I can safely say this is one of the best moments I have enjoyed in my career as a public servant and like they say in diplomacy we part to meet yet again in another capacity,” said Ambassador Masenyetse.
Others present were the Ambassador of Botswana H.E Masire Mmasegoa Mwamba, a seasoned diplomat who once served as Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth in London including Ambassador Stone Sizani a veteran diplomat who represents the Republic of South Africa and once served as Chief Whip of parliament in South Africa.
Ambassador Mukwita said quoting Shakespeare that, “to part is such sweet sorrow but we can only work here for as long as our leadership allows until we meet again. The great thing is expanding our horizons and make good friends while on duty abroad.”
The small group was, however, cognizant of the threat the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has caused to SADC economies and beyond even in the tranquil of the small circle.
Ambassador Tuggar of Nigeria said, “diplomacy was rendered void without personal contact among human beings which is essential to the exchange of views-points.”
“In an era of post-truths, social media and now COVID-19, the opportunity to clarify issues and exchange information in real time which is the essence of democracy is threatened when diplomats are unable to meet”, Ambassador Tuggar observed.
The farewell was also attended by visiting Namibian Ambassador to France H.E Albertus Aochamub.
The SADC region is largely seen as an economic destination due to its vast natural resources, young population and political stability.
The envoys in Berlin continue to interact mostly remotely due to a lock down as a consequence of spiking new infections of covid-19 that has claimed millions of lives globally.
This is according to a statement issued by Kellys Kaunda, Press Secretary at the embassy of Zambia in Berlin, Germany.