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Specialised Energy Mission From South Africa To Zambia Commended For Innovative Approach To Doing Business In Africa

Zambia and South Africa signed a Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) in December 2016.
Zambia and South Africa signed a Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) in December 2016.

A South African energy sector trade and business delegation, jointly led by Trade Invest Africa and the South African Electrotechnical Export Council (SAEEC), recently embarked upon a successful trade mission to Lusaka, Zambia.

Upon meeting the visiting business delegation at the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) offices on 30 January, the director general of the ZDA, Patrick Chisanga, stated: “We are impressed with the calibre of companies from the South African Energy sector represented by the delegation.” The director general requested delegation leaders to provide the ZDA with feedback on the concrete outcomes emanating from the mission on its completion.

Chisanga also thanked the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria for their continued efforts to promote Zambia as an investment destination. Chisanga pointed out that the energy delegation was the third visiting delegation from South Africa to Zambia lead by the first secretary for economics and trade, Mande Kauseni, in recent months, demonstrating the growing ties between the two nations.  

The trade mission followed the inaugural South Africa-Zambia Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) held in Pretoria in December 2016. During the JCC the two countries committed to collaborating in developing mutually beneficial trade and investment opportunities.

Trade Delegation Assists In Developing Zambia’s Energy Sector

The specialised energy sector trade mission to Zambia facilitated meetings between stakeholders in South Africa’s energy sector with those in Zambia’s energy sector, both within the public and private spheres. The mission was aimed at enabling market access and unlocking investment opportunities in the Zambian energy sector in response to the country’s deficit in generation capacity and transmission line roll-out, which is negatively impacting universal access to electricity in the country.

The South African delegation included representatives from the following companies: ABB; Actom; Conco; Conlog; Pfisterer; Powertech Transformers; Rethuseng Live Line Services; Thyssen Krupp; and Trans Africa Projects. These representatives met with several Zambian energy sector institutions, including: ZCCM-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH); the Energy Regulation Board; the ZDA, as well as the Ministry of Commerce; The Office for the Promotion of Private Power Investment (OPPI); the Rural Electrification Authority; the Copperbelt Energy Corporation; and the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia.

An Integrated Approach To Development

An essential component in the energy trade mission was the inclusion of a number of South African financial institutions, including the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of South Africa. Lerato Mataboge, the chief director for Africa at the South African Department of Trade and Industry (dti), commented that Trade Invest Africa had responded to the call of South African business to ensure that trade missions be sector focused and should include financiers. “Trade Invest Africa is keen to support this sector-led approach to Trade Missions. Together with the developmental financial institutions, we have encouraged delegates to focus their attention on not only discussing doing business but also identifying specific projects. This is so that we can progress to the next level of engagement with business.” Mataboge explained.

She further added: “[Trade Invest Africa’s] role is to co-ordinate and drive the implementation of South Africa’s economic strategy for the entire continent, premised on the developmental integration approach, through close collaboration with the private sector. African financial institutions, with their developmental approach to investment, are therefore a pivotal part of our strategic approach to intra-Africa trade and investment,” Mataboge concluded.

Also commenting on the innovative approach needed to do business on the African continent, Chiboni Evans, the CEO of the South African Electrotechnical Export Council (SAEEC), said that South African firms in the electrotechnical sector are the partners of choice when trying to enable Africa to meet the needs of their own energy and infrastructure needs.

The CEO of ZCCM-IH, Pius Kasolo, ratified these sentiments, stating that: “We need to start trusting in our own solutions as Africans. Africa has the products and services as well as the financial resources, from both the private and public sector, necessary to resolve a significant number of our infrastructure challenges”. The mission leaders are optimistic that this innovative approach to doing business will result in positive results for both the Zambian and South African economies.

The various public and private enterprises that participated in the energy trade delegation will follow up their interactions in the coming week by gathering once again at the Africa Energy Indaba conference and exhibition to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 21 and 22 February. 

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