Zambian and Zimbabwean businesses put the spotlight on renewable energy and environmental risk assessment when Chamber Trade held their last workshops on Industrial Development, together with our local chamber partners in these countries.
A special edition workshop on energy was held in Kitwe, the heart of the Zambian Copperbelt on November 30, with participation also from the Swedish embassy and the German chambers of commerce. The ongoing energy crisis in Zambia which has put the Zambian economy into turmoil added a sense of urgency to the workshop and led to a strong focus in the discussions on renewable energy. Other important take aways from the workshop was the urgency among the Zambian business community on how to become more competitive on a company level – key issues were value chain development, innovation, cleaner production, access to alternative energy, management and leadership. Chamber Trade experts which were part of the team were Ludvig Olsson, Scandinavian Purchasing, Adam Dahlquist, KIC InnoEnergy, Johan Strandberg, the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL), Kenneth Melin, Alternatives and Fabian Wallen, Wallen Economics. Key advovacy issues were also discussed tied to the importance for governments to improve the business climate and to put priority on promoting regional trade with neighbouring countries.
Environmental risk assessment rendered great interest at our workshop in Zimbabwe with the chambers. Johan Strandberg, IVL, engaged a large crowd in his workshop, looking at the first step on how a company can make use of environmental risk assessment in their own managerial operations.
Chamber Trade Sweden is running partnerships with Zambia Chamber of Commerce, ZACCI, and Zimbabwe Chamber of Commerce, ZNCC, on capacity building to strengthen the chamber’s services to its members. One of the components, competitiveness, involves both policy advocacy promoting industrial development and business development skills training. The goal of this component is to contribute to the countries industrial development by improving the knowledge of the relevant stakeholders, including the chambers and its members, and improving the dialogue between business and government. A secondary goal is to target individual companies and bring knowledge transfer to them through business development workshops and coaching. Together we have hosted six seminars/workshops in Zambia and Zimbabwe between 2013 and 2015.