Integrating sustainability into Zambia’s businesses model

Posted on January 8, 2014 12:01 am

Zambia formerly known as northern Rhodesia, is one of richest nations on African continent in terms of natural resources with main mineral being copper that remains a key export product for one of the fastest growing economy in Africa. However, the country suffers from lack of inclusive sustainable growth with but luckily the current administration has seen the Lusaka government and businesses sector focus on sustainability. Zambia’s manufacturing sector has been expanding at a steady rate over the past few years after suffering from a decrease following the poor financial management and corruption that affects almost all sub Saharan African countries. However, due to attractive business climate in the country, more and more companies are expanding their plants and new investments are flowing in Zambia with good example being Zambeef, a multi national company that has opened shops across Africa including Nigeria.The government’s plan to introduce an incentive package for industries that implement efficient practices in their operations in Zambia and also offer better wages in mining and commercial agriculture sectors a move that is expected will help promote more sustainable practices.

Although fiscal incentives such as tax breaks work well in encouraging certain behaviors, the current administration has been quick to note that other forms of incentives are as effective as mining incentives that has seen flooding of Chinese companies in Zambia. Balancing continued growth in the manufacturing sector with sustainable business practices that also protect the environment is laudable. If mining companies operating in Zambia can grow and profit while at the same time contributing to environmental protection, the whole country will benefit. I do think that it would be ideal for Zambian companies to understand that unless their business model and supply chain are in accordance to African continent and globally recognized sustainable practices, they wont be able to compete with their more illustrious competitors from rainbow nation. The good thing is that Zambia’s businesses are waking up to this reality. More and more companies, both local and multinationals operating in the country, are implementing sustainable practices. In today’s business environment, sustainability can no longer be an afterthought. It must be ingrained into the very core of every business activity and I laud the new trend in Zambia’s business sector. The integration of sustainability into business strategy requires new business models and new ways of thinking about how businesses contribute to society and businesses in Zambia have set a standard.

Contador Harrison