BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
THE depression in the mining industry has significantly affected the business value chain on the Copperbelt as the sector drives the area’s economy.
When there is stress in the mining industry, it goes across to other companies because all businesses on the Copperbelt are linked to the mining industry, says ECB Legal Practitioners Senior Partner, Elijah Banda, State Counsel.
Mr Banda emphasised that the depressed state of the economy on the Copperbelt had impacted on the value chain in the area.
He was speaking on the Anakazi Banking Online Conversation under the topic “Covid-19 impact on Copperbelt economy, possible out-comes & way forward.”
“We have seen key players in the mining industry are experiencing severe stress some are in liquidation while others are on care and maintenance while their resources have dried up, so this is what the Copperbelt has been facing,” Mr Banda said.
Mr Banda expressed concern that some companies on the Copperbelt had shut down due to the disruption of the value chain.
He also observed that the Copperbelt economy even before the pandemic was already showing severe signs of stress.
This, Mr Banda explained, was on account of various factors in the mining industry which anchored the economy on the Copperbelt.
“The pandemic has come in to compound an already severe situation, so it has come to change the way businesses are done, some businesses have shut down.
“It is a vicious circle and what I think is concerning is that it is riding against stresses that are not related to it. The Copperbelt has suffered a double tragedy; fighting the Covid-19 and fighting for the mining industry,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Banda acknowledged that technology remained vital in ensuring business operations.
Technology, he said, would play a key role in how business was conducted for the rest of the time.
Mr Banda said: “After Covid-19, technology will play a vital role in the way business is conducted, one thing that has come to the rescue of business in this pandemic is technology.”
Stanbic Bank Zambia Relationship Manager, Business Commercial Banking, Nchimunya Alfred Namakanda, said emphasised the need for enhanced digital banking.
Mr Namakanda said: From the banking perspective, we have ensure that our digital channels are in top notch, we have signed up everybody on mobile and business banking
“We have also ensured that 90 percent of our ATMs are able to receive deposits around the country and this entails the future of the new way of doing business.”