History

Kitwe & District Chamber of Commerce has been in existence over 60 years. It is one of the oldest and strongest Chambers in Zambia. The Kitwe Chamber of Commerce is located in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia.

The Copperbelt, is a mining based economy.The Economic history of Kitwe district is traced to the beginning of mining on the Copperbelt. Kitwe district is surrounded by major districts within a radius of about 65 km. This puts the district in a central position that makes it easily accessible and economically viable. The district is relatively industrialized compared to other districts of the Copperbelt Province.

Kitwe District receives very good rainfall and is endowed with vast natural resources including forestry resources. About 59,325 ha of the district total hectorage is under forestry reserve.

Chambers primary role

The Chambers primary role is that of lobbying and is the voice of the business community. The chamber defends the cases of the business community through lobbying and representing them on matters that concern them from time to time. The chamber continually monitors the environment and is the mouth piece for the Kitwe Business community championing their cause for a business environment. The government determines the environment in which businesses operate through policies, taxes and regulatory framework etc. These may not always be in the interest of the business community and this is where the chamber comes in to represent their interests. A business is continually affected by the environment within which it operates and to keep abreast with changing environment, the chamber monitors it on behalf of the business community while business persons concentrate on running their business. It represents & intervenes on matters concerning trade, civic and industrial matters.

We provide information to government and its members on key issues and create a networking platform for key stake holders to iron out pertinent issues.

Objectives

The objectives of the Kitwe & District Chamber of Commerce and Industry are to promote the development of trade, commerce and industry in Kitwe and throughout Zambia. The second one is to make input into any matters connected directly or indirectly with such trade, commerce or industry and the last objective is to collect circulate among its members information and other matters as maybe of interest.

The Kitwe & District Chamber of Commerce achieves its objectives through the lobbying of a conducive business environment and consultative meetings with quasi government institutions.

Industry in Kitwe

The mining industry has played a central role in the socio-economic development of Kitwe which has centered on copper and cobalt with a mining history spanning over Eighty years. In general, the mining industry in Zambia contributed an average of 11% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Kitwe district is surrounded by major districts within a radius of about 65 km. This puts the district in a central position that makes it easily accessible and economically viable. The district is relatively industrialized compared to other districts of the Copperbelt Province.

Kitwe district is a vibrant town that has two large mines, Mopani Copper Mines Plc and Konkola Copper Mines Plc, Nkana Integrated Business Unit. There are several other small scale mining processing plants within the district.

Mining and metallurgical activities taking place at MCM and KCM at Nkana Mine sites include operation for four underground copper/colbalt Sulphide, four open pits mines, metallurgical plants comprising of a smelter, copper refinery, cobalt refinery, two acid plants, concentrator and leach plant  located along the ore body which runs south-north on the western side of Kitwe District.

The increased demand for metals particularly copper prices on the world market due to the increased demand for copper consumption in Asia is driving and putting pressure on investors to produce for more metals. In Kitwe, due to this demand, the mines have undertaken underground exploration to increase their mineral reserves. Consequently, the high copper and cobalt prices has triggered an increase in mining activities in Zambia

Small Scale Mining activities are limited to sand and gravel quarrying owned mainly by illegal miners. These artisanal miners usually are the smallest operation, an informal enterprise characterized by lack of finances and, the use of simple tools and labour intensive. As a result, mining is done haphazardly with little or no technical input and environmental concern. Although of less significance, these provide employment to the informal sector.

Other Industries

Major industries are manufacturing, engineering and service provision, which includes automotive and mine equipment repair. Industry in the district is divided into two main categories, heavy and light industrial areas.

Private industries in the district include foundry, rubber, heavy equipment repair and manufacturing, opaque beer production, bakeries, industrial gases, marketing and sale of petroleum products, fabrication, scrap metal, automotive repairs, construction and confectioneries and Industrial Gases. Small and medium scale industries are engaged in fabrication, scrap metal, automotive repairs, construction and confectionaries. The district also has an active informal sector engaged in manufacturing, production and provision of services such as tin masonry, furniture manufacturing and cleaning services.

Industry provides a base for employment generation and an off-shoot to other service providers delivering raw materials. This would tend to expand the economic base of the district from being dependent on mining, which is the main economic activity in the district.

Membership

The Kitwe & District Chamber of Commerce and Industry is one of the largest and is the most active chamber of commerce in the country with a membership of 340 companies in various sectors. The Chamber has a Board which is comprised of 10 members in an honorary capacity. The Chamber Secretariat is headed by the Chief Executive Officer and has permanent staff, handling the day to day operations.

Membership to the chamber gives companies an opportunity to interact & network with the business community sharing ideas, keeping abreast on what is happening while they market themselves to other members. The chamber promotes the development of trade, commerce and industry in Kitwe and throughout Zambia. It also considers and makes input into any matters connected directly or indirectly with such trade, commerce or industry and to collect, circulate among its members information and other matters as matters as maybe of interest.