The Zambia Business in Development was contracted by the Zambian government i.e the Private Sector Development, Job Creation and Industrialisation Office (PSDJCIO) under Cabinet Office to work with the private sector in creating 5,000 jobs for the Zambian people through partnering with government, donors and civil society, the project was dubbed Industrialization and Job Creation Strategy (IJCS) . With the contract at hand, the ZBiDF Team got down to work and started engaging different stakeholders in order to push the agenda forward and with that in mind three partnerships were developed namely; Consortium of Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Producers Partnership, Cassava into Starch Products Partnership and the National Skills Development Partnership (NSDP), these partnerships have been in the pipeline since 2015 and it was envisaged that these three partnerships would create the jobs required and thereby increase household incomes for Small Holder Farmers and the poor.
- Consortium of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Producers Partnerships-this partnership aims to create jobs for Small Holder Farmers on the Copperbelt i.e Mufulira and Chingola by supplying their fresh produce to one of Africa’s leading Chain Stores Shoprite on the Copperbelt, this will give them an assured steady income and a market for their produce. So far 150 farmers have been engaged and are working with two lead farmers in the two towns.
- Cassava into Starch Products Partnership-this partnership cuts across the entire cassava value chain and aims to create jobs from the production through to the processing stage, the partnership objective is to reduce poverty through increased production and processing of cassava in Northern, North Western and Luapula Provinces where cassava is prominently grown in Zambia.
- National Skills Development Partnership– it was noted that there is a gap between what is required by the industry and what is being produced by the training institutions, the NSDP intends to bridge that gap by engaging companies to take students on attachments and internships so that they have practical knowledge of industrial requirements.
ZBiDF has done a lot of ground work by scoping and engaging stakeholders one on one for them to see the relevance of partnering and hence after various stakeholders meetings and going through the partnering journey, the partners were ready to sign the partnerships in April of 2016 but stumbled upon an obstacle when they were told that governmental organisations needed clearance from Ministry of Justice (Attorney General’s Office) in order for them to go ahead with the signing.
Owing to this fact, the partnerships stalled for some months as the partners were waiting for the documents to be cleared by the government in order for them to go ahead with the signing and hence start implementing the objectives that they had set out for, this meant that ZBiDF needed to step in and continue to engage the partners so as not to lose the momentum and to keep the idea of the partnership on their minds. The partnerships were finally cleared at the end of May 2016 and now all the partners and brokers are preparing to launch the partnerships as well as host Signing Ceremonies in order for the partners to start implementing what they set out to do.
Even though the ZBiDF Team has delivered on the IJCS partnerships, they are eager to scale up job creation to other parts of the country and empower more people in order to eradicate poverty in Zambia.