Development Minerals: Driving infrastructure, construction and housing sectors in Zambia through Inclusive Financing

The African Guarantee Fund in partnership with the ACP-EU Development Mineral Programme have successfully launched the  Zambia Workshop on financial inclusion for Development Minerals targeting Financial Institutions that lend to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The programme that seeks to improve the management of Development Minerals in Zambia was officially launched by Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development Permanent Secretary (PS) Paul Chanda who said that the Government will continue to encourage investment in the mining sector not only to ensure increased copper production but also exploitation of other minerals, mostly those mined by Artisanal and Small-scale Miners (ASM).

“ASM, has its own peculiarities different from large-scale mining which require certain capacities to be developed within financial institutions. I am glad that today we have commenced this process by conducting training for financial institutions to be able to support the ASM in development minerals” the PS said.

AGF Capacity Development Officer, Patrick Lumumba lauded the Zambian government for its commitment towards creating an enabling environment for the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources necessary for the economic and social development of the country and the fight against poverty.

He noted that AGF shares in Zambia’s Seventh National Development Plan which fronts job creation and industrialization as both believe that the development of SMEs is one of the principle solutions to fostering environmental sustainability, job creation and economic growth in African countries.

He however observed that although there is a huge potential within the Development Mineral Sector, SMEs in this sector need to be facilitated and supported as they have limited access to financing because of the high risks associated with SME lending.

UNDP Country Director, Mandisa Mashologu pledged UNDP’s commitment towards supporting Zambia to achieve her sustainable development goals and Vision 2030 agendas.

Emphasizing the importance of Financial inclusion of small and medium scale domestic businesses in the Development Minerals sector, Ms. Mashologu said, “Access to affordable finance will provide entrepreneurs in the Development Minerals sector with economic security, resulting in a positive multiplier impact on health, education, poverty, hunger, inequality, jobs and growth.”

Often mistakenly considered as low-value minerals because of the low price-to-mass ratio and low commodity prices, development minerals are unique inputs to the national economic development through infrastructure development and construction which are key focus areas for Zambia among other sectors and therefore have the potential to be of high value in terms of economic development.

About the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme

The ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme is a three-year, €13.1 million capacity building programme, which is an initiative of African, Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Group of States, coordinated by the ACP Secretariat, financed by the European Commission and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented by UNDP and the Minstrty of Mines and Minerals Development in Zambia. The programme is supporting sustainable and inclusive development in the industrial minerals, construction materials, dimension stones and semi- precious stones sectors through capacity development of key stakeholders such as regulatory agencies and local governments; private stakeholders including small-scale mining enterprises, construction companies, mining and quarrying associations; as well as training centres, universities, civil society organizations and community groups. Find out more here:

About the Credit Guarantee Facilities

The Credit Guarantee Facilities will be provided by AGF to financial institutions (FIs) in Zambia, Uganda, Cameroon, Guinea (Conakry) and Nigeria on the basis of Guarantee Agreements to be entered with each FI. The guarantee will partially cover the loans provided by the FIs to the SMEs operating in the Development Minerals sector (including quarrying, processing, manufacturing and trading in minerals such as gravel, sand, clay, granite, marble, gypsum, talc and semi-precious stones) in the five target countries.