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Zambia: Southern Africa’s new emerging impact investment market

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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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ZNS warehouse robbed, 212 GMO mealie meal bags en-route to DRC vanish.

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OVER 200 bags of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) mealie meal meant for export into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been stolen by unknown criminals.

The mealie meal is believed to have been stolen from a Zambia National Service (ZNS) warehouse at Kasumbalesa, where the contraband was stored, awaiting exportation.

ZNS chief marketing and public relations Colonel Mable Nyone said the service as well as police have since launched investigations into the matter.

“The Zambia National Service (ZNS) regrets to report that thieves last night broke into one of our warehouses at Kasumbalesa Border which house imported Eagles mealie meal meant for export to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and made away with about 212 by 25 kilograms of mealie meal estimated at more than K68, 000.This incident represents a slap in the face of the Service’s noble efforts of supplementing Government’s efforts of generating additional resources to complement those coming from the treasury,” she said

Colonel Nyone warned that those involved in the illegal act should, therefore, brace themselves to face the full force of the law.

She said the service, working closely with the Zambia Police, will fiercely pursue the individuals behind this irresponsible criminal act to ensure they are brought to justice.

“The perpetrators risk facing, not only charges related to breaking in and stealing bags of mealie meal but also a possible charge on illegally offloading genetically modified organism (GMO) commodities onto the local market, should they attempt to offload the commodity on the Zambian soil,” she said.

Colonel Nyone urged Zambian citizens to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities related to the sale or distribution of the stolen ZNS mealie meal, particularly those bearing black labels.

“As a direct response to the unfortunate incident, ZNS will intensify security measures at all of our depots to prevent any further occurrences. We are committed to safeguarding our facilities while at the same time protecting the interests of the Zambian people who have chosen not to consume any GMO product,” she said.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 20th February, 2024)

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ZRA uncovers vehicle identity scam

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THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has unearthed a motor vehicle identity scam in which perpetrators use registration numbers of other motor vehicles to smuggle vehicles into the country.

In a recent development related to the ongoing investigation, a vehicle previously belonging to the Zambia Revenue Authority, which was involved in an accident and subsequently written off by the insurance company, has had its registration details illicitly used for another vehicle.

ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Oliver Nzala said the new vehicle was not duly cleared, and no duties were paid for its registration, constituting a serious violation of national laws and regulations under the Customs and Excise Act.

He said the estimated revenue loss from this smuggling act is K 97,700.

“The vehicle in question has since been detained by the Authority, and extensive investigations are underway to uncover the individuals responsible for this fraudulent activity. This incident underscores the sophisticated nature of the fraud being perpetrated and the lengths to which individuals will go to circumvent legal and regulatory frameworks,” he said.

Mr Nzala said the Authority in partnership with the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), the Zambia Police Service, and other key stakeholders, is intensifying efforts to enhance the security features of vehicle registration documents and to tighten controls across the board.

“Our goal is to prevent future incidents of fraud and to protect public revenues and safety. We call upon anyone with information related to vehicle identity theft, including the misuse of registration details of vehicles written off or involved in accidents, to provide such information to ZRA. Your cooperation is vital in our ongoing efforts to combat these illegal activities,” he said.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 20th February, 2024)

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MultiChoice Talent Factory wins CSR and Responsible Business Leadership award

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THE MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF), a Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiative of MultiChoice, has been honored with the prestigious Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Responsible Business Leadership Award at the 5th CSR and Responsible Business Awards Ceremony.

The event took place in Livingstone.

The award is bestowed upon organisations that demonstrate outstanding commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and exhibit exemplary leadership in responsible business practices.

The MultiChoice Talent Factory academy which was established in 2018, has been a beacon of opportunity for aspiring creatives across Africa.

“The MultiChoice Talent Factory academy has been active since 2018 and is currently entering its 5th cohort. It is a comprehensive one-year, MultiChoice fully sponsored training program accredited by the University of Zambia, designed to develop the professional skills of young creatives in the African film and television industry,” reads a statement.

(Mwebantu, Monday, 19th February, 2024)

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