A German delegation visit, organised by the Centre of Excellence for Mining and Raw Materials at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK) in South Africa and their new office in Zambia, travelled to the town of Solwezi in June 2016. The group, composed of German suppliers in the mining industry, made contact with potential business partners.
Solwezi lies in the North-Western Province of Zambia, which is also known as the new Copperbelt region due to multiple ongoing mining projects. Three mines are currently in operation in and around Solwezi. There are numerous business opportunities available, both for suppliers and in terms of general infrastructure development.
According to a statement from the local chamber of commerce, this was the first official visit from a German trade delegation. The programme on site included a discussion with the Permanent Secretary of the province, a workshop with around 50 members of the local chamber of commerce and a visit to the Kansanshi copper mine (Figure 1). Kansanshi is one of the world’s largest open-pit copper mines and already makes use of numerous German products and services.
Zambia is one of the key countries of the AHK Centre of Excellence for Mining and Raw Materials. The new AHK South Africa office in Zambia is especially important given the increasing interest in the country shown by German companies. A number of activities, not only in the mining industry, but also those related to agriculture, energy and general infrastructure development are on the agenda. As the official representative of the German economy in South Africa, the AHK continues to reinforce bilateral economic relationships and their activities especially in relation to expanding this developing market.
Furthermore, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) partnered with the Centre of Excellence for Mining and Raw Materials at AHK South Africa and its new office in Lusaka also organised a business trip to Lusaka for the Zambian International Mining and Energy Conference and Exhibition 2016 (ZIMEC) in June.
The delegation comprised five representatives of German companies and representatives of the organisers. The visit to ZIMEC was combined with individual B2B discussions and the opportunity for the German companies to attend a workshop in which they could present their product portfolios. The workshop was part of the ZIMEC conference programme and covered the options for using renewable energies in the mining industry. The German companies offered a variety of products and services related to integrating photovoltaic solutions into the industrial energy mix. Around 50 people took part in the workshop. The feedback from the German companies, as well as the positive reactions from the representatives of Zambian industry, confirm the need for and enormous interest in renewable energies in the mining industry.
The trip was funded by the “Energy solutions – Made in Germany” initiative run by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The next ZIMEC trade fair will take place from 5th to 6th April 2017 in Lusaka once again.
(AHK South Africa/Si.)