Register Your Business

Business registration is done at the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) and takes three working days.The registration procedure starts with Name Clearance. Registration of a Business Name is governed by the Business Names Act No. 16 of 2011 of the Laws of Zambia.

Types of Companies obtainable in Zambia

There are broadly two (2) types of companies in Zambia, namely:

1.  Private Limited Companies; and,
2.  Public Limited Companies (PLC).

Private Limited Company
This is a registered company formed and owned by individuals other than the Public. Its name will always end with the word "limited". The minimum number of Directors and Shareholders required for a private company is two (2). Private Companies do not invite the public to buy their shares or debentures.

The following are the types of private limited companies that can be incorporated:

1Company limited by Shares;
2.  Company limited by Guarantee; and 
3.  Unlimited Company.


Private Company Limited by shares
Companies limited by shares have a share capital and are formed or incorporated for purposes of carrying on business to derive a profit. Currently, the minimum required authorised capital for a private company other than banks, insurance and other financial institution, is K15,000.

A Private Limited Company may not have more than fifty (50) shareholders. It nevertheless may have the capacity to enter into any type of legal activities as long as its articles do not restrict it. As stated above, this type of company is prohibited from making any invitation to the public to purchase its shares or debentures. And in case it winds up and its assets are insufficient to cover its liabilities, the liability of its shareholders is limited to the amount left unpaid on their shares.

Company limited by Guarantee
A company limited by guarantee does not have a share capital and is not permitted to carry on business for the purpose of making a profit for its members or for anyone concerned in its promotion or management. These are normally formed in order to help the community benefit from a certain project. Mostly, these are organisations such as churches, foundations, trusts etc.

At the time of formation, each member must sign a declaration of guarantee, specifying the amount he undertakes to contribute if the company is wound up. And in case it winds up and the assets are insufficient to cover its liabilities, the liability of its members is limited to the amount so guaranteed.

Unlimited Company
An Unlimited Company is one that has a share capital but whose members have unlimited liability for the company’s debts and liabilities. In other words, whatever is incurred by the company is also deemed to have been incurred by the members.

In terms of membership, it equally may not have more than fifty (50) shareholders. There are exceptions, however. In order to incorporate an Unlimited Company, Companies Form 4Form 5, and Form 11 are used.

Public Limited Company
A Public Limited Company states in its articles of association that it is a" Public Limited Company". Its name always ends with the words "Public Limited Company" mostly abbreviated as "PLC". It has a share capital and its authorised minimum capital is K1,000,000.00. It has the capacity of entering into any business activity unless restricted by its articles.

Foreign Company:

Registration of a foreign company is governed by the Companies Act No. 24 of 2011 of the laws of Zambia. A foreign company is a company that is already registered in another country and it is therefore considered as a branch of the original company. It is a must that at least one and no more than nine individuals termed as local directors are authorised to conduct and manage the affairs of the company in Zambia. If they are two such directors, at least one should be resident in Zambia. If they are more than two (but not more than 9) however, more than half of them should be resident in Zambia. After completion of the Name Clearance, two sets of application form No. 46 are to be completed i.e. Registration of a Foreign Company. This Form is accompanied by a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation from the country of origin and its charter, statutes, regulations, memorandum and articles and any other relevant information. The company should also indicate the name of the firm, corporate body or

individual resident in Zambia that would authorised to act as the documentary agent. The application fee to be paid upon completion of the process is ZMW4,166. The end of the process is marked by the issuance of the Certificate of Registration.

Other Government institutions;

In addition to PACRA, investors are required to register with following Government institutions. 

  • Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA): A registered business is obligated to register for all application taxes, see Tab on Taxes
  • National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA): Employers are required to register with NAPSA and ensure that all their employees are registered as members of NAPSA.Other social security benefits, public or private are under the Labour Tab
  • Zambia Environmental Management Authority (ZEMA): Depending on the magnitude and type of an investment project, one would have to carry out an Environmental Project Brief (EPB) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in order for ZEMA to ascertain the impact of the project on the environment.

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Relevant institutions PACRA ZRA ZEMA ZDA

Investment Concessions

To spar investment in certain sectors, the Government through ZDA provides for investment incentives and guarantees contained in the Zambia Development Act No. 11 of 2006, an application for a certificate of registration would have to be lodged through the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA).

The documents required when submitting the application includes the following:

  • Copy of Certificate of Incorporation issued by PACRA
  • Certificate of Share Capital
  • Official list of Shareholders and Directors
  • Proof of finance (audited financial statements, certificate of deposit at the bank or latest bank statement)
  • Detailed Business Plan
  • TPIN and Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Proof of having secured a place/land to operate from (Lease Agreements or Title Deed or Letter of Offer)
  • Depending on the sector, proof that relevant sector permits or licenses have been lodged

If all documents are lodged in, the process to obtain an Investment Certificate takes about 10 days.

Zambia Development Agency

ZDA is a statutory body established in 2006 by an Act of Parliament, i.e ZDA Act No. 11 of 2006. The primary objective is to foster economic growth and development by promoting trade and investment in Zambia through an efficient, effective and coordinated private sector led economic strategy.

MANDATE

The Agency’s mandate includes facilitation of the economic development of Zambia by promoting investment and competitiveness of businesses and promoting exports from the country. It has the task of working with relevant authorities to reduce the cost of doing business in the country by simplifying the process of various formalities such as licensing.  The Agency is also responsible for building and enhancing the country’s investment profile for increased capital inflows. Capital formation, employment creation and promoting the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector by working with Government to create an investment climate that can propel long term sustainable domestic growth

OBJECTIVES

1.  To increase and expand non-traditional exports by providing value addition and diverse products into existing and new markets

2.  To identify investment opportunities, attract and facilitate Foreign Direct Investment, Local Direct Investment and promote re-investment in the following sectors: Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Forestry, Manufacturing, Tourism, Infrastructure, Energy and Mining.

3.  To promote the growth and development of the Zambian emerging private sector in order to create wealth and generate employment

4.  To provide service delivery in:

  • Promoting local and foreign investment
  • Provision of business support in growth and development to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
  • Promote export development and competitiveness
  •  Acting as a vehicle of consultation with private sector and recommend trade and industry strategies.

Development and facilitation of Multi Facility Economic Zones and Industrial Estates.  

Regulatory Service Centre

ONE STOP SHOP

The Agency’s primary objective is to foster economic growth and development by promoting trade and investment in Zambia through an efficient, effective and coordinated private sector led economic strategy.In order to provide both local and foreign investors with fast, efficient and business friendly registration service thus reducing the cost of doing business, ZDA in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade Commerce and Industry launched the One- Stop Shop in 2010.

The One Stop Shop (OSS) facility allows for customers or clients to access a multitude of services under one roof. An investor only contacts one entity to obtain all the necessary paperwork in one streamlined and coordinated process.This means investors both local and foreign are provided with incentives such as centralised organisations that attend to their needs comprehensively, without them having to move from one stakeholder Agency to another. 

The key stakeholders of the OSS include the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA), the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA), Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), the Department of the Immigration, and the Zambia Procurement Authority (ZPPA). Other stakeholders are licencing and regulatory bodies that provide optional registration for business or that issue operational permits and licences.  These include the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Workers Compensation Commission. Others are the Zambia World Life Authority (ZAWA), Registrar of Corporative and the Livingstone Local Council.

The Agency is also conscious of the fact that Information Technology (ICTs) is an important enabler in building an information centred society where everyone can access, utilise and share information and knowledge leading to greater productivity, effectiveness and efficiency in doing business. In this regard, it embarked on an ICT infrastructure integration programme which will reduce business registration and other processes to about two hours at the One Stop Shop.

The One Stop Shop Integrated System (OSSIS) is an information exchange (sharing) ICT programme that will enable One Stop Shop stakeholder Agencies share client registration information. The ICT programme will initially see three frontline stakeholders namely NAPSA, ZRA and PACRA backend systems (ePACRA, myNAPSA and ZRA’s TaxOnline) interface through the OSSIS platform. The facility has been operational since the fourth quarter of 2015on and has drastically reduce the documents investors will have to carry from one desk to another and the speed up the registration.

The One Stop Shop also houses the Information Resource Centre (IRC) which provides trade and investment facilitation information to the business community through online trade information reference system, trade and information journals, and directories. It also hosts business discussion forums periodically.

Environmental Impact Assessment

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)  is one of the services offered by ZEMA;  it is a systematic process which identifies, predicts and evaluates potential positive and negative impacts that a proposed project may have on the environment in its totality that is, physical, biological and socio economic aspects.

Under Zema is the Impact Assessment Association of Zambia (IAAZ).  TheImpact Assessment Association of Zambia (IAAZ) is an association that has been formed in Zambia to provide a forum for advancing innovation and communication of best practices in all forms of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in order to further the development of capacity in impact assessment. 

Activities for the Association include but are not limited to:

  • To maintain a database on impact assessment practitioners in Zambia and 
  • Reviews of new legislation affecting Zambia in relation to environmental and social issues.

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What investors think

Investors appreciate the strides Government is making in reducing the time that it takes to register a business. However, there is still room for improvement in terms of facilitating the on-line transactions.

Some investors complained about the lack of coordination between ZDA and ZRA with regards to actual implementation of investment incentives, with particular reference to tax incentives. 

Population

According to the Zambia Labour Force Survey (2014), the population of Zambia stood at 15 million people. The population that comprised the labour force was estimated at 6,329,076 most of whom are between the age of 15 and 39 years old. Zambia has abundant reserves of unemployed labour comprising both skilled and unskilled personnel. The overall unemployment rate in 2014 stood at 7.4% The high level of graduate turnout from the country’s high schools, colleges and universities has therefore not been matched by employment generation opportunities from private and public sector investment. The availability of both skilled and unskilled labour thus exceeds available employment opportunities.

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Relevant institutions CSO

Skills

Zambia has a three-tier education system consisting of seven-year primary education followed by a five-year secondary education and four-year post-secondary schooling. Government Since 2014, the Government has embarked on various initiatives and policy changes in order to make education and skills more relevant to the current and future needs of the country. For instance, a new curriculum was developed for both primary and secondary school that includes ICT, entrepreneurship education, business studies, design and technological studies. Furthermore, a two-tier system has been developed for pupils from Grades 8 to 12 to give them the option of pursuing either an academic or vocational pathway.

The role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TEVET) in Zambia’s industrialisation and job creation strategy is to produce graduates who are sufficiently competent to contribute to national development through formal sector employment or productive self-employment. The Ministry of Higher Education is working with various partners including the private sector to look into various ways of enhancing the different types of learning schemes such as apprenticeships and other lifelong skills in order to boost productivity of learners as well as enhance employability and the spirit of entrepreneurship. In order to emphasise Government’s aspiration to industrialisation and the role of skills, companies are required to pay a Skills Levy of 0.5% of gross emoluments which was introduced in the 2016 budget. 

Zambia has three public universities namely University of Zambia (UNZA), Copperbelt University (CBU) and Mulungushi University (MU). In addition, Government intends to build at least one university in each of the ten provinces. There are a number of private universities that have been set up with the majority being in Lusaka Province. In order to adequately regulate these universities, Government through the Higher Education Act of 2013 established a Higher Education Authority. The other objective is quality assurance and promotion of higher education.


Employment and contracts

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is responsible for the formulation of labour policies while the Department of Labour under the Ministry is responsible for administering the statutes governing employer/employee relations. The following are the main pieces of legislation relating to the labour market in Zambia: The Employment Act Cap 268 which deals with basic various employment contractual issues; The Industrial and Labour Relations Act Cap 269 that provides for the conduct of industrial relations among parties; and The Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act Cap 276 that determines the minimum conditions of employment for categories of employees not effectively covered through collective bargaining. Such employees include general workers, drivers and clerks.

Equal Opportunities

The Zambian law and practice prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, tribe, political opinion, colour, creed or sex.

Labour Protection

Employers are obliged by law to provide a healthy and safe working environment for their employees. Where required, they are mandated to provide personal protective clothing to their workers. Failure to adhere to these standards and any other labour laws is subject to penalties once complaints are made or random inspections are conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.


Termination of Employment

A contract of employment may be terminated under the Zambian law through:

  • Resignation or Dismissal
  • Normal retirement or medical discharge
  • Expiry of contract
  • Redundancy
  • Frustration such as death

An employer is obliged, under Section 26A of Statutory Instrument No. 15 of 1997, to afford an employee the opportunity to be heard prior to termination of the contract of employment, If the termination is on grounds related to the employee’s conduct or performance. This obligation on the part of the employer has to be in conformity with the International Labour Organisation Convention. If an employee is not satisfied with the internal appeals system at his place of work, he/she can resort to take the matter to court.

The Zambian law, further, provides for the minimum benefits payable to the affected employee, and requires payment of full wages for an employee declared redundant until the redundancy benefits are paid. The redundancy benefits are such that they employer is obliged to pay at least one month’s notice and redundancy benefits of not less than two month’s basic salary for each completed year of service.


Probation

An employee is granted 3 months probation, with a maximum period of 6 months, after which a letter of confirmation is to be served.

Wages

Typical wages paid by international companies based in Zambia are listed below.

Wages

UnitValueYearComment
Senior Manager USD4,5002018Per Month, plus benefits
Middle Manager USD3,5002018Per Month, plus benefits
EngineerUSD3,0002017Per Month
Graduate EntryUSD2,5002018Per Month
Skilled TechnicianUSD1,5002018Per Month
Administrative Assistant USD7002018Per Month
Shop AssistantUSD4002018Per Month
DriverUSD3002018Per Month
DriverUSD3002018Per Month
Unskilled LabourUSD2002018Per Month

Non-wage benefits

(a) Medical Coverage and Maternity Benefits

Employers are obliged, by the Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act to grant an employee full pay should illness make the employee incapable of working, subject to production of a certificate from a registered physician. The maximum period for which such benefit may be given is three months at full pay and the next three months at half pay after which a certificate of medical discharge would be sought from the Ministry of Health. Some employers provide health and medical coverage through membership to private clinics to which the employee and employer contribute equally.

The Act also requires that maternity leave, for female employees be paid up to 90 days, provided such female employee has worked for a minimum of 24 months with their current employer.

(b) Paid Holidays

Employers are obliged, under the Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act to grant leave of absence of not less than 24 days annually. It is, however, a normal practice for employers to provide employees with more leave days than that prescribed in the Act depending on the rank and nature of the employee’s job.

(c)  Special Leave

Employers are obliged, under the Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act to grant an employee 7 days paid leave on the death of an employee’s spouse, child, mother or father. The Act also obliges the employer to provide for a funeral grant for a standard coffin, cash and mealie meal in the event of death of an employee, spouse, registered child or dependent of the employee.

(d) Working Hours

The normal working hours is 40 hours per week for office workers and 45 hours per week for factory workers. Office hours are normally from 08.0 hours to 17:00 hours Mondays through Fridays and 08:00 hours to 13:00 hours on Saturday (for most companies outside the retail sector). The normal weekly hours should not exceed 48 hours under the Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act.


Social Security benefits

Pension

The National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) is a statutory pension scheme provider where both employers and their employees are mandated to register and contribute. The employee contributes 5% of his salary while the employer tops up with the same amount. However, employers may also register with other private pension scheme providers in the country as occupational pensions in addition to the NAPSA registration.


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Relevant documents National Pension Scheme Act Cap 256 of the laws of Zambia
Relevant institutions NAPSA

Investor's permits

An Investor’s Permit is issued to a foreigner (above the age of 18 years) intending to establish a business or invest in Zambia or who has established or invested in a business in Zambia, or is joining an already existing company.

Requirements  for Issuance

  • Covering letter addressed to the Director General of Immigration

  • Duly completed Application for an Investor’s Permit (Form 27)

  • Certificate of Incorporation

  • Certificate of Share Capital (where required)

  • Certificate of Minimum Capital

  • Investment license from ZDA (not mandatory)

  • List of Directors

  • Proof of personal investment (Bank Statement, Money transfer, ZRA Form CE20, Bill of Lading from ZRA). If an investor is forming his own company, he or she should bring in at least US$250,000. If he/she is joining an existing company, it should be at least US$150,000.

  • Proof of ownership or lease agreement in Zambia

  • Certified copy of valid Passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia)

  • Two recent passport size photographs

  • Prescribed fee

Requirements for Renewal/Extension

  • Application Form 11

  • Covering letter to the Director General

  • Original permit

  • Inspection Report by Immigration

  • VAT/ZRA receipts

  • Audit Report from a recognized firm registered with the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA)

  • Lease Agreement (where applicable)

  • Current bank statement

  • Certified copy of passport

  • Prescribed fee

Expatriate Labour and Permits

Employers seeking to employ expatriate staff are required to apply for work permits from the Director of Immigration Department. Such permits are usually issued for an initial period of one year with provision for subsequent extensions or renewals. Companies that hold a Certificate of Registration from ZDA and invest a minimum of US$250,000 and employs a minimum of 200 employees shall be entitled to an Investors Permit for up to five expatriate employees. 

The fees can be viewed here; http://www.theiguides.org/public-docs/guides/zambia/databases

Payments for the respective fees must be made by bank certified cheques and payable to the Director General of Immigration. Cash payments are not acceptable.


Visas

Visa

The validity of the visa is not the period in which the holder is entitled to remain in the country but a period within which the holder has to enter Zambia. As such foreign national are required to use other instruments offered by the Department to remain in the country legally.

Types of Visas

Single Entry Visa – A Single Entry Visa allows the traveler to enter Zambia only once during the validity of the visa. 

Double Entry Visa – A Double Entry Visa allows the traveler to enter Zambia twice during the validity of the visa. ; and

Multiple Entry Visa – A Multiple Entry Visa allows the traveler to enter Zambia multiple times during the validity of the visa. . Multiple Entry Visas shall only be issued by Headquarters through the e-visa facility.

Note: Single, Double and Multiple visas shall be valid for ninety (90) days from the date of first issuance, with the exception of nationals from the United States of America for whose Multiple Entry Visas have a validity of three (3) years, on reciprocal basis.

Transit Visa – Transit visas are issued to nationals who require visas to enter Zambia and are transiting through using land transport and shall be valid for a maximum period of seven (07) days;

Day Tripper Visa - A Day tripper visa is issued at a port of entry to a tourist who visits Zambia for a period of less than 24 hours and makes exit through the same port. The facility will also apply to tourists visiting Zambia and wish to visit a neighboring country and re-enter within 24 hours. The fee is US $20.

Note: The Day Tripper shall only apply at Victoria Falls and Kazungula Border Controls.

Gratis Visa – A Gratis Visa is a free visa issued at Zambia Missions Abroad or at Ports of entry to Members of the Diplomatic Community on presentation of letters of accreditation and/or Diplomatic Passports.

e-Visa

The electronic visa (e-Visa) is an online facility for applying visa to Zambia. All persons who ordinarily require a Visa to come to Zambia are eligible to apply for visas through this facility.

Step 1. Fill out the secure online application form & Confirm your application.

Enter the exact personal information of the applicants and check for a  confirmation mail sent to your email address and access provided link to confirm and ACTIVATE your application. You can track the progress of your application on the e-Visa portal.

Step 2. Get approval letter and prepare to get your visa sticker/ endorsement on arrival within 3-5 working days, depending on your visa category, you receive feedback via email. you may also  download visa approval or rejection letter's directly from the e-visa's tracking facility.

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Relevant documents
Relevant institutions ZDI

What investors think

Employers find it sometimes cumbersome and time consuming to have all their employee contracts approved by the Labour Commissioner every time. The Labour Commissioner can often be out of office or out of town and their powers are not delegated.

Investors feel that the labour laws in Zambia are somewhat biased towards workers, which can impact some workers' assiduity. For the manufacturing and agro processing sectors, a lack of technically skilled manpower in the country was observed.

Some investors claimed that the average cost of wages in Zambia was higher compared to other countries in the region while not necessarily matched by productivity.

Work permits are relatively quick to obtain especially if one uses approved immigration consultants. 

Electricity

Maamba Thermal Plant

There is no doubt that the availability, reliability, affordability and ease of connectivity to power is critical for any investment. Zambia is well endowed with hydropower and other resources of energy which include woodlands and forests, coal and renewable sources of energy. It has the capacity to produce 6,000MW of electricity power. However, for many years hydropower has been the only source of energy. In order to diversify from hydropower, Zambia to other sources of energy such as coal and renewable sources have accounted for 3%. This overdependence on hydropower in the wake of climate change negatively affected power generation in 2015 and 2016 due to less rainfall. According to the 2017 Zambia Review, electricity produced in 2015 was 1,281 megawatts (MW) against a demand of 1,949 MW leading to a deficit of 668 MW. This led to a protracted spell of load shedding that negatively affected the economy.

The low production capacity was not entirely due to low rainfall, but a host of other reasons including: cumulative demand from the mining and construction sector that is unmatched by supply; years of inadequate investment in the sector; non-reflective-tariffs, policy and legislation issues that discouraged private sector participation in either hydro or alternative sources of power.

Government, in the immediate and short term, has put in place measures to cushion the impact of the power shortages to ensure reliability. These measures include importation of power from neighbouring countries, upward adjustment to the tariffs to attract private sectors to invest in alternative sources of energy. In the medium and long term, Government, working with other stakeholders, has put up investments of various sizes and depth.

Legislation

The Zambian electricity sector is governed by three pieces of legislation:

  • The Energy Regulation Act (1995), which established the Energy Regulation Board (ERB). As a regulator, ERB is responsible for the licensing, monitoring and supervision of operations in the energy sector as well as approval of electricity tariffs;
  • The Electricity Act (1995), which removed the statutory monopoly of Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) in the power sector and provided for new entrants. ZESCO is a parastatal that was commercialised in 2005. It generates, transmits and distributes electricity country wide. It is also involved in bulk supply agreements which involve the importation and exportation of power to other countries when required; and
  • The Rural Electrification Act (2003) whose mandate is to facilitate and expand provision of electricity to the rural areas and establishment of the Rural Electrification Authority (REA).

In addition to the above mentioned institutions, the private sector players in the electricity sector include: The Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) that purchases power from ZESCO and distributes it to the major mines in Zambia; Ndola Energy (NECL), a subsidiary of Great Lakes Africa Energy Limited that produces electricity using Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO); and Lunsemfya Hydro Power Company (LHPC), a subsidiary of Aqua Imara based in Kabwe. It produces power that it then sells to ZESCO. Others include small scale generators and solar-based companies.

Electricity connections

Regarding connectivity to electricity for an investor who would like to put up a warehouse, factory or building, there are procedures that need to be followed which are stipulated by ZESCO. The procedures are on the assumption that an investor intends to connect power to a new warehouse in Lusaka.

There are currently three (3) main electricitycompanies in Zambia namely; 

  1.  ZESCO Limited-this is the public utilitypowercompanysupplyingpowerto mostparts ofthe country through the nationalgrid
  2. Copperbelt Energy Corporation(CEC)-supplies powe rto the mines and transmits for the national utilities ZESCO Limited Zambia and SNEL of Democratic Republic of Congo, through the Zambia Congo Inter-connector.
  3. Lusemfywa ElectricityCompany – suppliespowertothe Centralprovince ofZambia

Summary of Time, Cost and Procedures for getting electricity in Zambia

UnitValueYearComment
Application to Zesco905.672017Includes estimate
Receive external inspection by Zesco Limited052017
Obtain excavation permit from Lusaka City Council600142017
Accept estimate and await completion of external works by Zesco Limited5,530952017
Receive internal inspection by Zesco Limited012017
Receive meter installation and final connection from Zesco Limited012017

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Relevant documents Energy Regulation Act of 1995 Rural Electrification Act of 2003
Relevant institutions ERB ZESCO

Water

Zambia is well endowed with water resources for irrigation, hydropower generation, agriculture, tourism, fish farming and various other industries as well as for human and animal consumption. Zambia has water resources covering about r about 11,890 square kilometres of the country’s total area and comprises lakes including Lake Tanganyika, Kariba Dam, Lake Bangweulu and Lake Mweru as well as a number of rivers. With such water reserves, Zambia is capable of producing 6,000 megawatts (MW) of hydroelectric power but has a current installed capacity of only 2,000 MW. It also has the potential to have 400,000 hectares (ha) of land under irrigation but only 100,000 ha is currently covered.

No.FACT
1.Surface water bodies occupy 1.7% of the Zambian Territory which translates to about 12,700 km2 comprising a system of lakes and rivers.
2.The major lakes in Zambia comprise Lakes Tanganyika, Mweru, Mweru wa Ntipa, Bangwelu, Kariba and Itezhi-tezhi. The inland lakes are lakes Bangweulu, Mweru wa Ntipa and Itezhi- whereas the rest are transboundary or shared with neighbouring countries.
3.Zambia has two main river systems. These are the Zambezi River Basin and the Congo River Basin.
4Internally, the Zambezi River Basin is divided into three smaller river systems or catchment areas namely: The Zambezi Catchment, the Kafue Catchment; and the Luapula Catchment.
5.Internally the Congo River Basin is divided into the Chambeshi Catchment; the Luapula Catchment; and the Lake Tanganyika Catchment.
6.The total surface water potential for Zambia stands at about 234 Mm3/ day with the Zambezi Basin accounting for about 146.7 Mm3/ day and the Congo Basin about 88.1 Mm3/day. 
7.The annual renewable groundwater potential is estimated at about 158.3 Mm3 / day.
8.The total water resources potential for Zambia is estimated at about 392.3 Mm3/ day but the current consumptive use of water is estimated at around 20 M/m3. This represents a very huge potential for irrigation, hydro power and industrial development.
9.The Zambian water sector comprises two sub sectors as follows: the (1.) Water Resources Management & Development sub sector ; and (2) Water Supply and Sanitation Sub Sector.
10.The institutional arrangements for the Water Resources Management and Development sub sector comprise the Department of Water Resources(DWRD) and the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) as established by Act  No. 21 of 2001.
11.WARMA is the regulator of the Water Resource Management & Development sub sector and is responsible for among other things the development of catchment management plans water resource allocation. On the other, DWRD is responsible for water resources infrastructure development, transboundary water resources management, and ground water exploration and mappping.
12.The institutional arrangements for the Water Supply and Sanitation and Sanitation sub sector comprise the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation(DWSS) and the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) as established by the Water Supply and Sanitation Act of 1997.
13.NWASCO is the regulator for the Water Supply and Sanitation sub sector although this function is at present restricted to the urban space. Water utility companies (which are typically owned by the Local Authorities) are responsible for provision of water supply and sanitation services to residents of urban areas on cost recovery basis. Water supply and sanitation provision to rural areas is undertaken by Local Authorities. The DWWS is responsible for planning and policy related issues on Water Supply and Sanitation.
14.The Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation and Environmental Protection is overall responsible for the Water Sector and among its functions are, water sector policy, water sector planning, resource mobilization for water interventions, and stakeholder engagements.


Telecommunications

Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) is the sector regulator and the following are the laws that govern the sector:

  • The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Act of 2009;
  • The Electronic Communications and Transactions (ECT) Act; and
  • The Postal and Courier Services Act
  • Information and Communications Technology Policy

Investment into the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is fundamental to the growth and development of the economy. It cannot be contested that ICTs are not only an accelerator of growth and development but also a facilitator of efficiency gains across all sectors of the economy. In committing to the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, world leaders recognized that the Agenda’s Goals and targets should be met for all nations and people and for all segments of society. 

Zambia has access to the west coast Sat-3 cable to Europe via a fibre link with Namibia which in turn links with the South African fibre network. At the moment, only ZAMTEL, Zesco Limited and Copperbelt Electricity Corporation (CEC) are licensed to operate the optic fibre networks. Several internet service providers (ISPs) consequently offer internet services to the rest of the public. According to ZICTA, Zambia has 6.1 million internet users, representing a penetration rate of 39 percent. While mobile telephone has a penetration rate of 78 percent as of mid-2016 against 0.7 percent for fixed land lines. The three mobile telephone service providers are MTN, Zamtel (parastatal) and Airtel Zambia. Vodafone is a new entrant providing only mobile data without voice. All four companies are aggressively expanding their networks in order to expand coverage, offerings and depth. Government is implementing E-government that allows investors and the general public to access a number of public services electronically such as company registration, annual returns, tax payment etc.

Information and Communication Technologies Act No. 15 of 2009

The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Act No. 15 of 2009 provides for the regulation of electronic communication services  and products, monitoring the performance of the sector including the levels of investment and the availability, cost, quality and standards of the electronic communication services  in Zambia. The Act also provides for the establishment of the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) as the regulator of ICTs in the country. In addition, the ICT Act of 2009 promotes deepened competition through more investment in the sector .

http://www.zicta.zm/Downloads/The%20Acts%20and%20SIs/ict_act_2009.pdf 

The Postal Services Act No. 22 of 2009

The Postal Services Act No. 22 of 2009 provides for the regulation of the postal and courier services sector in Zambia. Specifically, the Act provides for the regulation of the provision of postal and courier services and the facilitation of investment and innovation in the postal industry . The Act also provides for the licensing of providers of postal and courier services, stimulation and promotion of competition in the sector as well as the protection of the interest of all stakeholders. The Act identifies ZICTA as the regulator of the Postal and Courier services industry.

 http://www.zicta.zm/Downloads/The%20Acts%20and%20SIs/postal_act_2009.pdf

Vision 2030

The Vision 2030 broadly outlines Zambia’s aspiration to become a prosperous middle income country by 2030. It particularly sets targets for the country to become an information and knowledge-based society by 2030. This is expected to be achieved through Increased connectivity to fibre optic (telecommunication infrastructure rollout) and other high capacity transmission technologies (networks); Increased access to phones per 100 people (tele-density) from 0.9 to 8 by 2015 and to 50 by 2030; and Increased access to ICT services such as Internet users from 35,000 in 2005 to 100,000 by 2015 and to 1,000,000 by 2030.The targets of the vision 2030 have since been surpassed indicating a general growing demand for ICT services in the country.

Seventh National Development Plan

The Seventh National Development Plan outlines the strategic priorities of the country over the period 2017- 2021. The plan recognizes ICTs as a catalyst for socio economic development by promoting competiveness as well as being an enabler of good governance. The Seventh National Development Plan identifies increased investment in ICT infrastructure and human resource development; reforms in the legal and regulatory framework; and mainstreaming ICTs in education as the key strategies over the implementation period. These strategies are expected to facilitate increased investment in the sector and foster increased uptake of ICTs in the country.

Operation of Networks and Provision of ICT Services

Opportunities for Investment in the ICT and Postal Services Sector

The country has a new Licensing framework that provides opportunities for the operation of a network or provision of various ICT services in the country. The licensing framework takes into account the fact that ICT services are moving towards converged platforms and thus does not prescribe what services are permissible on particular technologies. The framework encourages providers of ICT services to fully leverage on their technology in providing any services they are capable of providing. Opportunities exist for prospective operators to provide ICT services or operate networks in the international market segment, national Market segment, Regional market segment or District market segment subject to the availability of the requisite resources needed to provide the services or operate the network.

Provision of Value Added Services

The country has made great strides in increasing adoption of ICT services especially mobile phone services. The increased uptake of such services provides an opportunity for innovation through the provision of value Added Services. Value Added Services are diverse and respond to the needs of consumers or corporate entities and mainly leverage on the wide reach in market access through the subscriber base. The increasing subscriber base in the country provides scope for commercial entities to provide various value added services through the existing networks. Prospective investors can freely engage with the existing operators of the networks in the country to establish commercial arrangements that would facilitate the provision of such services.

Manufacture of ICT Devices and Equipment

Zambia does not currently have an extensive ICT hardware manufacturing or assembly industry. The country depends on imported products to meet its local demand. However, these hardware products are often accessed at a huge cost on account of trade taxes and freight costs. Thus, an opportunity exists for the assembly or manufacture of hardware products such as mobile handsets, modems and servers among others devices.  The country’s strategic location in the region coupled with preferential trade arrangements provides a ready market for the manufactured products beyond the national market.  

Content and Software Development

One of the biggest obstacles to increased usage of broadband in Zambia is the lack of local content and software. A large proportion of the applications and software used in the country is imported from international jurisdictions. The presence of local applications that relate to Zambia on online mobile markets such as Google, Play store or Apple Store is very limited currently. The country has an evident gap in tailored applications that address the needs of the local communities and locally established corporate entities.  In addition, a number of public services are still provided manually despite the opportunity to digitize such systems. There is an opportunity for software developers and local content developers to close these identified gaps in the country.

ICT Innovation Park

The country has a number of emerging ICT related startups and innovations being developed to respond to some business opportunities or social challenges. However, there is no structured arrangement to nature these emerging innovations and startups similar to the Silicon Valley in the United States of America. The rise in ICT related startups and innovations is related broadly to two factors. Firstly, the local universities and other higher learning institutions are churning out increasing numbers of ICT graduates with skills to develop applications or devices. At the same time, ICTs are increasingly providing an effective platform for dealing with a number of social challenges or responding to some business opportunity. These conditions provide a conducive platform for investment aimed at identifying viable startups or promising innovators that could be supported to develop viable commercial entities. At the same time, the increasing number of ICT related companies in the country provides an opportunity for investors to pool all the ICT related entities in a common location designated for provision of such services. This designated Zone would provide a ready market for the tenants and facilitate synergies across entities within the zone.

Procedure for Obtaining a Licence to Provide Postal and Courier Services

The licensing of postal and courier service providers can be broadly classified into two categories. The reserved postal service licence and the unreserved postal service license.

Reserved Postal Services Licence 

This is a major license for the provision of reserved postal services which will be issued exclusively to the Zambia Postal Services Corporation. All letters, postcards, printed matter, small parcels and other postal articles subject to a mass of up to and including one kilogram or size of a ‘letter’ which enables it to fit into a rectangular box. 

 Unreserved Postal Service Licence

This is a license issued to all operators that will provide services encompassing all letters, postcards, printed matter, small parcels and other postal articles and any other postal service that fall outside the ambit of the reserved services set out in the First Schedule of the Postal Services Act up to and including thirty kilograms and courier services. These licenses may be applied through an open application process by an applicant. Accordingly, the following licenses in have been classified as Unreserved Service Licences:

Licence Name 
Licence Type 
Duration 
Coverage
International & Domestic Courier Service 
Local Courier Service 
5 yearsCountrywide with International Services 
Domestic Courier Service 
Unreserved Postal Service Licence 
5 yearsCountrywide/No International Services 
Local Courier Service 
Unreserved Postal Service Licence 
5 yearsWithin the same Town/City 


Procedure for Licensing Operators in the ICT sector

In order for an entity to operate in the ICT sector, they must obtain the appropriate Licences or certification. Specifically, the entity must have the appropriate registration with the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA), Registration with the Zambia Revenue Authority as well as Registration with the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA).  A company may also seek registration with the Investment promotion agency the ZDA in order to benefit from some of the tax and non-tax incentives. The investment certificate is the basis for any investment facilitation services that the ZDA will provide which include but are not limited to free facilitation of immigration permits, facilitation of land acquisition where necessary and assistance with processing any secondary Licences.  It is a requirement for some projects to obtain clearance from the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) through approval of an environmental impact assessment. Upon obtain the necessary registration documents for incorporation of a company, prospective investors can proceed to apply for a licence to operate a network or a service. Similarly, prospective investors can also apply for the appropriate license to provide postal and courier services.

ZICTA issues licences to prospective operators in the following broad categories:

(a)  Network Licence:  This licence category allows the holder of the licence to construct, own or make available an electronic communications network, or to provide a network service; and

(b)  Service Licence: this licence category allows the holder of the licence to provide one or more electronic communications services.

The highlighted licenses are designated into the following market segments:

a)  International Market Segment– in this segment, the Licensee is authorized to offer, to the international market, services from one or more of the four market segments.

b)  National Market Segment – in this segment, the licensee is authorised to build a nationwide network or provide a nationwide service.

c)  Provincial Market Segment – in this segment, the licensee is authorised to build a network or to provide a service in a province.

d)  District Market Segment – in this segment, the licensee is authorised to build a network or provide a service in a district.

The licensing guidelines of 2017 provide details of the requirements and procedure for issuance of a service or network licence.

Transport infrastructure

Zambia’s central geographical position within Sub-Saharan Africa makes it a natural transport hub and transit point within the region and beyond. Further investments in road, rail and air transport networks- so critical to both national and regional development- are being made to ensure that the country becomes the preferred transit point in the region. The aim is to develop an integrated, reliable and efficient transport system to develop location and ensure that 25 to 30 percent of all cargo traffic south of the equator is processed through Zambia by 2064. 

Government is in the process of creating a transport master plan to make sure that the transport system is developed in an integrated manner. Airport, harbours, dry ports and trade hubs need to be linked to ease the transportation of goods and services to local and regional markets.

Road network

The road network is the backbone of the Zambian transport, reaching the most remote areas of the country. Zambia has a gazette road network of approximately 37,000 km of which 6,476 km are bituminous and surfaced to class 1 standard, gravel at 8,478 km and earth roads accounting for about 21,967 km. The entire road network is supported by three main inter-provincial highways and several secondary roads servicing each of the ten provincial capitals.

The Government of the Republic of Zambia has continued to pursue the Accelerated Road Construction and Rehabilitation Programme that includes:

  • Link Zambia 800 - high quality single and dual lane roads throughout the country;
  • C400 – rehabilitation and construction of 408 kilometres of township roads on the Copperbelt;
  • L400 – construction of link roads in the Capital City of Lusaka in order to reduce congestion;
  • Pave Zambia 2000 – the paving of 2000 kilometres of township roads using labour-intensive paving blocks and cobblestone technology; and
  • National Feeder Roads Programme – the construction and rehabilitation of feeder roads in the rural areas spearheaded by the Zambia National Service (ZNS)

The Government is also implementing the Road Maintenance Strategy that will run up to to 2024. This involves the acceleration of toll road programme that began in 2013. Another financing initiative has been the encouragement of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) that involve strategic partnerships in the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of roads with the private sector.

Rail network

Government intends to promote the use of rail for transporting bulk goods to relieve the road network. Zambia’s rail network comprises Zambia Railways (ZR) and the Tanzania-Zambia Railways (TAZARA), which is jointly owned with Tanzania. Zambia Railways network connects Zambia to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola in the north and Zimbabwe and South Africa in the south. Tazara links into the Zambia Railways line at Kapiri Mposhi and runs to Dar-es-Salaam port in Tanzania. The combined installed freight capacity of the two railway lines i.e. ZR and Tazara is 8 million tonnes per annum. Government has continued with construction works on the Chipata-Mchinji railway line which will link Eastern Province to Malawi as well as give Zambia its shortest route to the Indian Ocean port of Nacala in Mozambique.

Government, through the Seventh National Development Plan 2017 – 2021 (7NDP) will embark on a comprehensive rehabilitation of the ZR lines and revitalisation of Tazara to make the lines more efficient. Government will also prioritise the construction of greenfield railway projects, preferably with the private sector. The projects are listed below:

  • The Nseluka-Mpulungu spur linking Zambia to the great lakes region;
  • The Livingstone-Katima Mulilo spur linking Zambia to the port of Walvis Bay in Namibia;
  • The Serenje via Petauke spur linking Zambia to the port of Nampula in Mozambique; and
  • The Chingola-Jimbe railway network linking Zambia to Lobito Bay in Angola.

Air network

Zambia has four international airports namely Kenneth Kaunda in Lusaka, Harry Mwanga Nkumbula in Livingstone, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe in Ndola and Mfuwe in Luangwa National Park. There are also secondary airfileds in Chipata, Kitwe, Kasama, Mongu, Solwezi and Mansa. In total, there are 130 airstrips in Zambia of which 43 of them are Government owned. Government has prioritised the rehabilitation and construction of international and provincial as well as selected district aerodromes. Currently expansion and upgrading of Kenneth Kaunda International Airport is underway and the site clearing for the new Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola has commenced. Funds have also been set aside for the establishment of a national airline. Legislative changes will be put in place in order to abide by best practice as well as enhance regulation.

Maritime and Inland waterways

Mpulungu harbour on Lake Tanganyika facilitates the shipment of cement, sugar, pharmaceuticals, steel, fish and many other goods from Zambia to the Great Lakes Region of Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Congo DRC. Government with funding from African Development Bank (AfDB) are currently upgrading and expanding the harbour to international standards in order to increase its efficiency and capacity. Government is also in the process of commissioning 12 large vessels for passengers and cargo on Lake Mweru, Lake Bangweulu and Zambezi River.

Zambia’s access to the sea ports are through the ports of Durban in South Africa, Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, Walvis Bay in Namibia and Beira in Mozambique. The Port of Nacala is increasingly becoming more important for Zambia because of the railway line in Eastern Province.

Transport costs

Prices

UnitValueYearComment
Empty Containers: 20 and 40 foot from Kapiri Mposhi to Dar-es-salaamUS$4,000 per wagon2018Tazara (2017) Note: Rates depend on the volume of cargo and length of the service agreement among other things, and can be negotiated

Other costs

For indicative purposes, a basket of goods and services that investors may face in Zambia are indicated below:


Other Costs

UnitValueYearComment
PetrolUSD1.0420171 litre
Diesel USD0.9720171 Litre
Coca ColaUSD1.7201750Cl plastic bottle
Imported BeerUSD1.32017330 mm
Local Beer USD0.97201733 cm
Bottled water USD0.9920171.5 litre
RiceUSD1.420171 Kg
Wheat FlourUSD1.1720171 Kg
Maize FlourUSD0.3920171 Kg
SugarUSD1.420171 Kg
Whole ChickenUSD2.820171 Kg
Bottled GasUSD30201715 Kg
Hotel 3 starUSD1402017Standard room including breakfast
Hotel 4 StarUSD1922017Standard room including breakfast
Hotel 5 starUSD2332017Standard room including breakfast
Taxi JourneyUSD102017Within town

What investors think

Investors feel the supply and cost of electricity in Zambia is relatively affordable compared with other countries in the region. This is even after the recent hike in the tariffs. Telecommunications is expensive just like other countries in the region. This is mostly because of over regulation that leads to monopolistic tendencies as well as the high taxes. Investors feel that the railway system needs to be enhanced to make movement of bulk goods much cheaper.

Land Categorisation

There are two categories of Land in Zambia: These are:

·  Statutory Land - comprising only 6% of land in Zambia. The land is zoned into residential, commercial or industrial use by the District Councils according to their jurisdictions

·  Customary Land - Approximately 94% of all land in Zambia is held under this system of tenure. Such land falls under the jurisdiction of the traditional Chiefs.



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Relevant institutions MLNR

Systems of Tenure

There are only two types of land tenure in Zambia. These are leasehold and customary tenure. Zambia has no freehold system of tenure. The leasehold tenure runs up to 99 years and is further renewable for up to 99 years. Renewal is possible if there is no breach of the conditions in the existing agreement. Land in the customary area can be converted to leasehold – thus allowing it to be used as collateral. 


Land Acquisition and Transfer

Land can be acquired and transferred in Zambia in the following ways:

(a)Acquisition of State Land by Non Zambians

A non-Zambian can acquire land under the following conditions:-

  • He/she is a permanent resident in Zambia
  • He/she is an investor within the meaning of the ZDA Act or any other law pertaining to investment in Zambia
  • In exceptional cases, by Presidential consent in writing
  • A person registers a company under the Companies Act, with no less than 75% Zambian shareholding
  • Title Deed will be issued in the name of the registered company
  • Under a short term tenancy of not more than 5 years
  • If the person is granted concession or right – under the National Parks and Wildlife Act

Before land can be bought or sold ‘State Consent’ must be obtained. The consent is issued by the Commissioner of Lands on application. If consent is not granted within 45 days of filing the application, the application is deemed to be granted. If consent is refused, the reasons for refusal must be furnished to the applicant within 30 days.

Acquisition of land in an area designated as State Land will require consent of the relevant District Council. Land which does not fall within the jurisdiction of any council, can be alienated upon direct application to the Commissioner of Lands. He will then make a formal offer to the applicant, which will contain similar conditions to those obtaining in the offer made for an application of land situated in the Customary Area.

Land in private ownership can be bought, sold and title deeds issued by the Commissioner of Lands. In all instances ‘State Consent’ will have to be obtained by the vendor before title deeds can pass to the purchaser. The consent is issued by the Commissioner of Lands on application. If consent is not granted within 45 days of filling the application, the application is deemed to be granted. If consent is refused, the reasons for refusal must be furnished to the applicant within 30 days. As stated above, 10% of the value of land is paid to the Zambia Revenue Authority by the vendor in terms of property transfer tax. It should be noted however that such land is under leasehold tenure with a maximum lease of 99 years from the state.

(b)Acquisition of Customary Land

In order to acquire land in a customary area, one will require to do the following:
  • The written consent of the area Chief
  • Approval of the District Council in the area
  • Additional approval from the Director of National Parks and Wildlife, if the land is in a Game Management Area

These approvals once obtained should be submitted to the relevant District Council, which in turn will submit the documents to the Commissioner of Lands. The Commissioner will then make formal offer to the applicant. The letter of offer will stipulate among other conditions:

  • Consideration Fee – This is not a fixed amount and is dependent upon locality, services provided by the state or council and other related factors;
  • Survey Requirements – This can be carried out by private or government Surveyor. Submission of a diagram or plan attached to the lease agreement is a mandatory requirement prior to issuance of Certificate of Title;
  • Preparation Fee – The office of Commissioner of Lands charges fees for preparation of lease. These fees are fixed through Statutory Instruments but are subject to change;
  • Registration Fee – charged by the Lands and Deeds Registry before lease is registered and certificate issued
  • Property Transfer – currently 10% of the value of land is paid to the Zambia Revenue Authority by the vendor. No tax is payable where land is acquired from the State.

Lands Tribunal

The Lands Act of 1995 also provides for establishment of a Lands Tribunal to speed up the resolution of land disputes.  Decision of the Tribunal is subject to appeal to the Supreme Court within 30 days of the decision.


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Relevant documents Lands Act Local Government Act
Relevant institutions MLNR

Land for Investment

ZDA is in the process of setting up land banks for investment in the priority sectors. The land banks comprise of already demarcated plots and the process of acquiring these plots is fast tracked from application for the land on behalf of the licenced investor, to approvals from the local authorities, up to the Commissioner of Lands. The following land categories are available for investment in Zambia.

a)  Agricultural Land

The Government has embarked on a farm block development programme. New farm blocks have been opened for development and commercialization of the agriculture sector. Each farm block is designed to have at least one core large-scale farm (core venture) of 10,000 hectares, several commercial farms of 1,000 to 5,000 hectares and small farm holdings of between 30 to 3,000 hectares preferably under out grower arrangements. Farm blocks provide both local and international investors ready access to already surveyed land for agro productions purposes.

b)  Industrial Land

Industrial land in the capital city Lusaka is located on the western part of the city. Every city in Zambia is zoned an industrial area where all manufacturing activities can take place. It is also where an investor wishing to set up an industry can do so.  In order to expand the country’s manufacturing base and enhance national competitiveness, the Government is establishing Industrial Parks and will extend tax incentives under the ZDA Act to developers of, and investors in Multi- Facility Economic Zones. Two types of MFEZ are being promoted: Production MFEZs for manufacturing related businesses and Export Trade MFEZ for commercial trading, warehousing etc. to exploit export markets.

In addition, developers of industrial parks will qualify for incentives if:

·  The layout of the development plan is approved by the relevant planning authority;

·  The park to be developed is at least 15 acres in size;

·  The park will have paved roads; and

·  Water and electricity supply is provided within the park.


Land costs

Prices

UnitValueYearComment
Office SpaceUSD22.002018In main commercial city, per m2 per month
Commercial Space/building (shop front)USD20.002018In main commercial city, per m2 per month
Unfurnished Expatriate HouseUSD2000.002018Three bedroomed per month
Furnished Expatriate HouseUSD3000.002018Three bedroomed per month
WarehouseUSD3-62018In main commercial city, per m2 per month

Special economic zones

Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ)

The MFEZ incentives are non discriminatory and applies fairly to all eligible investors be it from Zambia or outside Zam

Six (6) areas have been declared as MFEZs and /or Industrial Parks vis-à-vis: Chambishi, Lusaka East, Lusaka South, Lumwana; and Ndola (Sub Saharan gemstones exchange) and Roma as an Industrial Park.

The implementation of MFEZs in Zambia is designed to make Zambia competitive through increased activity in the trade and manufacturing sectors, which have numerous positive spillover effects in other sectors such as utilities, transport, agriculture and services.

The MFEZs are, special industrial zones for both export-oriented and domestic-oriented industries. The zones will have the well appointed infrastructure in place in order to attract and facilitate establishment of world-class enterprises in the zone (s).

The MFEZs blend the best features of the free trade zones (FTZs), export processing zones (EPZs) and the industrial parks/zones concept and create the administrative infrastructure, rules, regulations etc that benchmark among the best dynamic economies. The blending of physical infrastructure with an efficient and effective administrative infrastructure will create the ideal investment environment for attracting major world class investors.

What investors think

Investors feel with the help of faciltator agencies like the Zambian Development Agency, acquring land is much faster but there is still alot of room for improvement as land which is not on title can take months to be finalised.

Tax introduction and registration

The Ministry of Financeis responsible for the formulation of tax policy in Zambia and the implementing agency is the ZambiaRevenueAuthority (ZRA).

The legislative frame work relating to the regulation and administration of  the taxation is provided for in  the IncomeTaxAct1966,as amended. The source of income and residence are the basis for liability to tax underthe Zambian tax regime.

Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA)

The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is an implementing agency of Government mandated to assess and collect tax and advise the state on aspects of tax policy. Once the registration of a company is successfully done at the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA), one needs to register with ZRA for a tax payer identification number (TPIN No.) The TPIN number is then used to register for the various taxes applicable to the specific type and nature of the registered business. It only takes 24 hours to obtain a TPIN number at ZRA. 

Taxes are directly handled by the two operating Divisions at ZRA i.e. Domestic Taxes Division and Customs Services Division. Domestic Tax Division handles direct taxes that include Corporate Tax, Turnover Tax, Pay-As-You-Earn, Withholding Tax, Property Transfer and Mineral Royalty. It also handles Value Added Tax which falls under indirect taxes. The Customs Services Division handles both Customs and Excise duties. The other Divisions offer support services to the two divisions.


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Relevant institutions ZRA

Corporate Tax

This is levied on the profit made by a business entity. 

There are two tax rate for companies/ investor wishing to set base in Zambia:

Listed on the stock exchange 33%

Not listed companies 35%

There exist a uniform 2 % difference between the the two categories irrespective of nature of business for example under farming the current tax rate is 10% for non listed and 8% for listed. The same is the case with mining companies. The rates are on taxable profits.

The main incentives are on tax holidays for income tax mainly 5 years but some times do extend up to 7 years. These companies do pay PAYE until their tax holiday is over.

The other unique feature is the ability to claim accelerated tax relief on all capital items for instance in farming most of the plant, machinery etc enjoy 100% relief whilst some 50 and 25%. In manufacturing and mining there are also hefty reliefs.

Additional features are also derived from the double taxation treaty signed especiary with companies or investors associated with South Africa and Mauritious as the contents of the treaty prohibits taxation of incomes (in general) from a docile (resident) source but allows source country to tax it. Zambia can only tax the difference. For instance is tax in south is 40% and in Zambia its 35%, the later will only ta 5% whilst the countries associated with Mauritious will not be taxed at all.

The investors also enjoy personalized incentives if they commit to set up in rural areas or also pledge to employ a given number of locals. This is on a case to case basis.

Tax Rates

Farming: Local 10
Companies listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange: Existing 35
New (only for the first year) 35
New, with more than 33% shares by Zambians (only for first year) 30
Manufacturing: Fertilizers 15
Other manufacturing 35
Banks and other Financial Institutions: Income up to K250,000 35
Income in excess of K 250,000 40
Mobile Telephone Companies: Income up to K 250,000 35
Mobile Telephone Companies: Income up to K 250,000 40
Mining: Mining operation for industrial minerals(Variable profit tax) Y= 30+[15%-(ab/c)], where Y = tax rate to be applied per annum; a=15% b=8%; c=the percentage ratio of the assessable income to gross sales
Companies with turnover of K800,000 and below (tax is charged on the turnover) 3
Income from Non- Traditional Exports 15
Income from Business for Public Benefit Organizations 0
Income from Trusts, Deceased or Bankrupt Estates 35

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Relevant institutions ZRA

Turnover Tax

This is income payable on gross sales or turnover for those businesses/individuals whose income is K800,000 or below. It is calculated at a rate of 3%.


Personal Income Tax

This is a tax levied on the income earned by an individual. In that regard, employers in Zambia are required to register and operate a Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) scheme under which they deduct laible taxes from their employees and remit to ZRA. This deduction also applies to expatriate employees working in Zambia even in cases where such emoluments are paid or payable outside Zambia. The personal tax rate ranges from 25 to 35% with the exception of farmers whose maximum applicablicable tax does not exceed 15%. Employers are further required to submit annual PAYE tax returns, at the end of every charge year, on a prescribed ZRA form. The applicable rates and thresholds are given below:

Category Rate
On income from 0 to ZMW 3,300.00 0%
On income from ZMW3,300.01 to ZMW 4,100.00 25%
On income from ZMW 4,100.01 to ZMW 6,200.00 30%
Above ZMW 6,200.00 37.5%

Withholding Tax

This is a tax on income that is deduted at the source and remmited to the Government. The applicable withholding tax rates are as follows:

Withholding Tax

Category Rate %
Dividends for individuals and companies (final tax) 15
Dividends for companies carrying out mining operations 0
Interest on Government bonds (final tax for individuals and exempt organisation) 15
Interst for individuals (earned form bank or building societies savings and deposit accounts). (Final tax) 15
Interst on Treasury Bills for individuals (final Tax) 15
Interest on Treasury Bills (final tax for excempt organisations) 15
Other interet 15
Royalties, Management and Consultancy fees (Resident) 15
Royalties, Management and Consultancy fees (Non Resident) 10
Rents 20
Commissions (Residents) 15
Commissions (Non Residents) 20
Public Entertainment Fees for Non 20
Non Resident Contractors 20

Mineral Royalty

This is a regular payment made to the Government by mining firms as a consideration for the privilege of extracting particular mineral resources. It is not classified as a tax and is governed by the Mines and Minerals Act.

The rates are as indicated below:


Deductions..

Indirect taxes

Category Rate (%)
Open cast mine 9% of norm or gross value
Underground mine 6% of norm or gross value
Industrial minerals 6% of nominal value
Person in possession of minerals (other than industrial minerals) 9% of norm or gross value
Person in possession of industrial minerals 6% of gross value

Find out more...

Relevant documents The Mines and Minerals Act, 2015
Relevant institutions MMD

Value Added Tax

Value Added Tax (VAT)is an indirect tax that is levied on products and services whenever their value increased in the production cycle.VAT is levied at 16% in Zambia on goods and services except for those that are zero rated or exempt. Health, education and funeral services are currently exempt from VAT. According to the VAT Act No.4 of 1995, it is mandatory for businesses whose taxable turnover exceeds ZMW800,000 to register for VAT. However, those with lower thresholds are free to make a voluntary application. VAT registered companies are required to submit returns monthly within 21 days for the prescribed accounting period.

Deductions.. 

Custom duties

TAX TYPE RATES
Value Added Tax (VAT) - on taxable goods and services and imports 16%
Customs Duty - levy on imported goods, charged on CIF (cost, insurance and freight value) 0-30%
Excise Duty - A levy on particular goods or products usually of a luxurious nature whether imported or produced domestically, imposed at any stage of production or distribution, by reference to weight, strength or quantity of the goods or products, or by reference to their value. The applicable Excise duty rates for targeted products are: Airtime (Talk time), Purified water, Carbonate-aerated drinks 17.5%
Plastic Bags 40%
Fuel oils, Natural gases (Petrol per deca-litre) specific duty rate 11.43%
Motor Vehicles at importation (depending on engine capacity and type of vehicle) 10-30%
Cosmetics e.g. Soaps, Body lotion, Deodorant, perfumes 20%
Spirits 30%
Clear beer 40%
Wines, spirits, Ciders and other fermented beverages 60%
Cigarettes (K per mille) specific duty rate K240

Customs and Excise Duty

Customs and Excise Dutyis a tax imposed on imports and exports of goods. There are three categories for import duties in Zambia: 25% mainly for finished products, 15% for intermediate goods and 0 to 5% for raw materials and capital goods.

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Relevant documents Customes and Exercise Duty Act

ZRA Goes Electronic

  • 2011 -  launched web-based submission customs declaration through ASYCUDA World.

  • Since 2011, ZRA has invested in scanners at borders posts to quicken the process of physical inspections. The time to inspect a truck reduces    from five hours to 5 minutes per truck. Scanners have been installed at Chirundu, Katimamulilo, Kazungula and Chanida border posts.

  • 2015 - introduced an on line system for filling corporate income tax, VAT and other domestic taxes

  • 2016 – Introduced a E-Payment system that allows tax payers to make payments through the banks by using the internet. This is simple, flexible and secure for the tax payer. It is now possible for tax payers to use the same portal to pay both customs and other domestic taxes 

  • 2017 – World Bank Doing Business Report ranked Zambia 58th out of 190 countries on Paying Taxes and 161 on Trading Across Borders.


Excise Duty

Excise Duty  is a tax on goods produced in the country.Zambia levies excise duties on certain products that mostly range from 3% to 20% on items such as, mineral water, cane and beet sugar and some derivatives, beverages, electricity and petroleum products. Other products such as beer and tobacco attracts more excise duties.

What Investors Think

The strides made by ZRA especially on the e-payment are much appreciated. However, the amendments take long when one makes an incorrect entry. The VAT refunds take long to be processed

Investment Legal framework

Zambia’s judicial system is based on the British common law system. The judiciary system has undergone a number of reforms in order to make the processes and procedures much quicker over the years.

Investment protection

There are various policies, laws and treaties that protect investors in Zambia. These are  domestic, regional, bilateral and international depending on the situation.

Expropriation

The Zambia Development Act assures investors that property rights shall be respected. No investment of any description can be expropriated unless Parliament passes an Act relating to the compulsory acquisition of that property. In case of expropriation, full compensation shall be made at market value and shall be convertible at the current exchange rate.

Dispute settlement

In case of a dispute, parties can resort to the domestic arbitration under the 2000 Arbitration Act. The Act also allows them to resort to international arbitration, whose resulting arbitral award is binding and enforceable in Zambia. This is also augmented by Zambia being a signatory to the following:

  • 1958 New York Convention
  • United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
  • International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
  • Various Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs)
  • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)

Parties can also seek intervention of the courts in resolving disputes. Regarding specific trade related disputes, parties can also resort to specialised bodies that adjudicate over particular issues such as land, taxes or industrial labour differences. For taxes, one could approach the Revenue Appeals Tribunal that was established by the Revenue Tribunal Act. Land disputes can be handled by the Lands Tribunal, established under the Lands Act of 1995. Industrial labour disputes can be adjudicated by the Industrial Relations Court, established under the Industrial Relations Act of 1990 and the Labour Act of 1993.

International investment agreements

Zambia has signed:

  • Bilateral Investment Treaties with the following countries:                                                                                                                                                      United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland, Germany, France, Luxemburg, China, Croatia, Cuba, Italy, Ghana, Ireland and Egypt.
  • Double Taxation Agreements with the following countries:

Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United, Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.

Repatriation of funds

Zambia allows for free movement of capital into and out of the country. The country does not have a foreign exchange control system. However, when converting Kwacha to US dollars ‘across the counter’, a limit of US$1,000 per day is allowable for individuals and US$5,000 for corporates at either a bank or a bureau de change. The ZDA Act gives rights to investors to repatriate profits, royalties, fees, debt service as well as disinvestment proceeds.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property rights are protected in Zambia under various laws. Trademarks are covered under the Trademarks Act Cap 400 of the laws of Zambia. The protection is for a period of 10 years with a provision to renew. This covers both goods and services. Patents meant to protect inventions are covered under Patents Act Cap 401. The protection is for 20 years on condition that it is renewed annually in the fourth year from the time it was granted. Industrial designs that include architectural designs, paintings, buildings or similar structures are protected under the Registered Industrial Designs Act Cap 402 of the laws of Zambia. The protection validity is for five years and is renewable up to a maximum of 15 years. All the three Acts are administered by the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA).

Protection of intellectual property is further reinforced by virtue of Zambia being a signatory to a number of international bodies such as the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Paris Union, Bern Union, African Regional Industrial Property Organisation (ARIPO) and the Universal Copyright Convention of UNESCO.

Competition law

Investors are protected in Zambia from unfair competitive practices both as producers and consumers of goods and services. This is done through the Competition and Consumer Protection Act No. 24 of 2010 and administered by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC). CCPC ensures consumer welfare and protects against restrictive business practices, abuse and cartels. Zambia is also a member of the COMESA Competition Commission that adjudicates on matters that have regional dimension.

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Relevant documents Competition and Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) No. 24 of 2010
Relevant institutions CCPC

What investors think

Investors feel the disposal of court cases in Zambia, compared to countries in the region, is relatively quick. The same applies to the repatriation of funds, which is well appreciated. However, investors feel there is need to have a long term commitment from the Government on such policies, regardless of regime changes.

Some investors feel that the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is more biased towards consumer welfare advocacy than regulation of competition. They also feel that the two functions should have been split into two different institutions.


Economy and Production

Zambia has had one of the world’s fastest growing economies for the past ten years, with real GDP growth averaging roughly 6.7% per annum.

The Bank of Zambia is the authority by law mandated to issue Zambian Currency banknotes and coins as legal tender. This is according to section number 4[2] of the Bank of Zambia Act 1996. The Bank is responsible to ensure that the public has confidence in their banknotes as a means of payment and a secure store of wealth.  The Zambian currency is known as the Zambian Kwacha and Ngwee (where 100 Ngwee is equal to K1). Zambia currently has six banknotes and four coins in circulation.  These are: K100, K50, K20, K10, K5, K2 banknotes K1, 50N, 10N, and 5N coins.

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Relevant documents Cost of Doing Business in Zambia

Market Access

Zambia is privy to preferential market access to a number of key markets. As a member of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) the country is part of a Customs Union. Zambia has a population of about 16 million but the COMESA union has a population of 580 million. As a member of SADC (Southern African Development Community) Zambia is part of a Free Trade Area. The country is also a beneficiary under the African Growth opportunity Act (AGOA) and the European Union (EU) Everything But Arms

Regional and international markets

The country is member of the following regional and international trade agreements

COMESA forms a major market place in Africa bringing together as it does 19 member states covering a total population of 444 million. A Free Trade Area (FTA) was created in 2000 and now encompasses 15 of the 19 member states (all but Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Seychelles). A customs union is planned in the close future with the eventual elimination of quantitative and non-tariff barriers for goods originating from within the region. Common external tariffs are also foreseen. Given the technical and legal challenges posed by a number of countries being both members of COMESA and the EAC single market, it is likely that the conditions of the COMESA union will be harmonized with that of EAC.

Its member countries are: Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Tourism

The tourism industry has grown over the recent past years, with the establishment of hotels in the major tourist town of Livingstone and the city of Lusaka. The vast potential in the tourism sector in Zambia, with its natural beauty (including the Victoria Falls, which is one of the most renowned beautiful transcendental Seven Natural Wonders of the World) and the wealth of wildlife have yet to be fully exploited.  Zambia has 20 national parks and 34 game management areas with a total of 65,000 km2 set aside for wildlife conservation. Zambia also boasts of various traditional ceremonies that take place at different times of the year where the rich cultural heritage is displayed.

This spectacular landscape with its lakes, mountains and rivers provides opportunities for adventure tourism in the form of white-water rafting, canoeing, abseiling, bungee jumping, climbing, horse riding and even elephant-back safaris. Zambia’s heritage and culture are areas of focus too, and the country possesses sites of geological and ecological importance such as a fossil forest and botanical reserves. Several locations have been declared national monuments as well as archaeological heritage sites.

Government is investing in the growth of the tourism sector by modernising and upgrading of international airport infrastructure throughout of the country; the establishment of a national airline; road rehabilitation; legislative reforms to make the environment more conducive; investment in the southern and northern tourism circuits; promotion diversification of tourism products including eco-tourism and agro-toursim; promotion of local tourism; and encouragement of public private investment in the tourism sector.

Opportunities

Specific investment opportunities exist in: 

·  Transport services and tours, including luxury coaches, air charters and car hire operation. Organised tours to a variety of attraction by car, plan, horseback or boat. Game fishing, photographic or hunting safaris in wildlife areas and national parks.

·  The provision of high quality accommodation for international visitors, conference facilities, and budget loges for local tourists, with attractive sites in natural setting readily available.

·  Developing cultural heritage sites, including museums, theme parks art galleries

·  Sites with attractive natural resources ready for investments include:

-  Kafue National Park, the largest potential tourism resource in Zambia

-  Lower Zambezi (Siavonga, Luangwa district)

-  Lusaka and surrounding areas for conference tourism and sports

-  South and north Luangwa national parks

-  Lucrative opportunities exist at the water falls of Sioma Nwezi, Kabwelume, Kundalila, Ntumbachushi, Chishimba and lumangwe

Incentives in the tourism sector

The Zambia Development Agency offers investment incentives for the construction of tourism infrastructure, particularly with regard to the establishment of hotels and construction and establishment of convention and exhibition centres, museums, theme parks, art galleries, theatres and large retail complexes. VAT incentives for tourism include zero rating for tour packages and other tourist services, refunds to non-resident tourists and visitors, and no import Vat on goods temporarily imported into the country by foreign tourists.

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Relevant institutions MOTA

ZAMBIA MAKES IT EASY FOR TOURISTS

ZAMBIA MAKES IT EASY FOR TOURISTS

Government has made it much easier than before for tourists to visit Zambia. In addition to the removal of the yellow fever vaccination requirement for travellers passing through South Africa, the uni-visa for Zimbabwe and Zambia was launched during 2014. The uni-visa saves visitors to the region time as well as money, as they only need to obtain one visa to visit both countries. The visa can be obtained on arrival at the port of entry and is valid for 30 days. It also covers those who visit Botswana for a day trip through the Kazungula border post. There are plans to extend the uni-visa to other neighbouring countries, with Uni-visa Botswana Mozambique and Namibia in the pipeline

More recently, Zambia has introduced the e-visa, which allows visitors to obtain their visas online. This will relieve tourist and business travelers of the need to physical travel to Zambian Embassies abroad to obtain visas. Under the new system, applicants may obtain their e-visa approval letter electronically after submitting required information, thereafter make payment by cash, credit or debit card (Mastercard or visa) at the point of entry. According to the Immigration Department, the e-visa will take three working days to process, except for countries on the Deferred List, whose processing time is a minimum of five working days.

Agriculture

Zambia is endowed with a large arable land resource base of 42 million hectares of which only 1.5 million hectares is cultivated every year.  It has abundant water resources for irrigation, and the country accounts for 40 percent of the water resource in Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). Given the vast resource endowment in terms of land, labour and water, Zambia has huge potential to expand its agricultural production. The country has a total land area of 75 million hectares (752,000 square Km) which is divided into three major agro-ecological regions, namely; Regions I, II and III - each suitable for investment opportunities in the production of various crops. Zambia's climate follows a similar pattern to that of most southern Africa countries, with rainfall when the sun is near its zenith from November to April. Rainfall varies from 500 to 1,400 mm (19.7 to 55.1 inches) per year. The dry season is marked with no rain falling in June, July and August. The average temperature in Zambia in the summer is 30°C and in the winter (colder season) is 5°C. Highest rainfalls are experienced in the north, especially the north-west and the north-east, decreasing towards the south with the driest areas in the far south west and the Luangwa River and middle Zambezi River valleys. 

Despite the vast arable land, plenty of water and the fact that the agricultural sector employs more than half of the total labour force, only 10 percent of the arable land is under cultivation. It is because of this potential that the government encourages investment in commercial farming and has established farm blocks to facilitate investments in agriculture. With vast stretches of land suitable for agriculture, the Government has embarked on improving access to inputs and finance for small scale farmers as a way of diversifying the economy from a heavy reliance on copper production and exports.  In most parts of the country, especially among the rural and peri-urban populations, agriculture is the main source of livelihood.  Income from the export of agricultural products has continued to increase every year. This sector receives priority attention from the Government and it is seen as a driver of employment in rural areas.  There are incentives and tax breaks for large scale farm production.  These incentives range from subsidies on establishing the farm to VAT deferment of 10%. Production loans are available from various banks in the country.  There are also guarantees and security for investment.


Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector accounts for nearly 11% of the country's GDP and has been consistently growing. However, the sector needs to produce a wide range of high quality value added intermediate and final products for the export markets. Engineering, Textiles, Wood & Wood Products, Building Materials, Processed Foods, Chemicals, Leather and Leather Products and Handicrafts offer potential opportunities for investments. Currently, the main manufacturing activities in Zambia are the Food, Beverages and Tobacco sub-sector.  Support measures designed to aid manufacturing enterprises in non-traditional sectors are being implemented.

Opportunities

The priority areas for investment in the manufacturing sector are as follows:

  •  Processed and refined foods and beverages (as listed under agro processing above)
  • Textiles and clothing (as listed under agro processing above)
  •  Leather Products (as listed under agro processing above)
  • Mineral processing – copper rods and cables, cutting and polishing of gemstones for exports and manufacturing of jewellery
  • Chemical products – production of soil conditioners such as lime and fertilisers. There are sources of P fertilisers in the following areas:

(a)  The Chillembwe deposits near Petauke district estimated at 1.6 million tonnes;

(b)  Mumbwa deposits at 500,000 tonnes;

(c)  Nkombwe (near isoka district) at 500 million tonnes; and

(d)  Kaluwe (near Luangwa) estimated at 207 million tonnes

The country has other mineral deposits that can be used in the production of chemical products such as cement, adhesives and explosives as well as glass, batteries, argon

gas, sulphuric acid, paints, cosmetics, soaps and detergents.

  • Engineering and Metal Works – production of intermediate and finished engineering products from processing of copper, iron ore and steel, cobalt and other such minerals. Production of window frames, doors, roofing materials, bolts and nuts as well as light engineering products such  cable carbon bushes, switch gears, pipes and rail sleepers etc. that are on demand in the construction and mining sector locally and internationally
  • Electrical Appliances – huge potential in the manufacture of electrical appliances such as computers, refrigerators, stoves, transformers etc.
  • Pharmaceutical products – massive potential in the investment of manufacture of essential drugs and medicines
  • Packaging materials – about US$ 30 million is spent annually on the importation of packaging materials for the food and beverage, leather and electrical and pharmaceutical industries.

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Relevant institutions MMD ZEMA

Mining

Zambia has a long history of mining that spans a period of over 100 years. Mining and Quarrying account for about 12.9 percent of Zambia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The sector accounts for over 70 percent of export earnings and is important for Government revenue and source of formal employment, both directly and indirectly. The sector also accounts for over 62 percent of Foreign Director Investment (FDI) into Zambia.

Zambia is the world’s eighth largest producer of copper, only second to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Africa. Zambia holds 6 percent of the world’s known copper reserves. Historically copper mining has been Zambia’s biggest economic activity with most mines having been established on the Copperbelt. In the recent past North Western Province has increasingly become home to the biggest mines not only locally but globally as well.  Other minerals mined in Zambia include cobalt, nickel, manganese, gold and gemstones.

The gemstones include emeralds, aquamarine, topaz, opal, agate and amethysts. Zambia produces more than 20% of the world’s emeralds. Zambian emeralds are highly sought after due to their deep green colour. Zambia also boasts of having the largest deposits of amethyst in African. The wide range of mineral resources in the country also comprises a wide variety of industrial minerals such as peat, limestone, phosphates, iron ore as well as energy resources such as uranium, coal and hydrocarbons. 

Opportunities

Growth in large scale copper mining however, has not translated into reduced poverty for the people of Zambia. It has also left the country vulnerable to fluctuations in the copper prices. There has not been much value addition to the copper while the other minerals and gemstones has been mined and exported informally. Government in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) want to have a diversified (other than Copper) and export oriented mining sector. The following are the opportunities:

  • Exploration, production and processing of minerals such as gemstones, cobalt, zinc, manganese, uranium, precious metals and industrial minerals;
  • Local and foreign participation in the mining value chain and industrialisation;
  • Petroleum and gas exploration; and
  • Small scale mining development through, inter alia, partnerships with foreign investors.

Information on the regulatory framework, incentives and details on investment opportunities can be obtained from the Zambia Development Agency and Ministry of Mines and Minerals.

The Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development is responsible for the issuance of permits and licences relating to investment in the mining sector. The licences and permits issued include large scale mining, small scale mining, prospecting licence, prospecting permit, retention license, gemstone license, gemstone sales certificate, artisan’s mining rights and the reconnaissance permit.

Applications for the above permits and licences must be supported by the following documents:

·  Topographical maps of the area

·  Certificate of Incorporation and Articles of Association

·  Photocopies of passports of directors and shareholders

·  Bank statements and reference letters from applicants’ bank

·  Programme of operations and estimated costs

·  Statement of mineral deposit in the mining area


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Relevant institutions MMD

Energy

With its vast water resources and coal reserves, Zambia offers abundant investment opportunities for hydro and thermal electricity power generation, supply and distribution. The country has well over 1,890 MW of hydroelectric generating capacity. Proven coal reserves exceed 30 million tonnes and satisfy 9% of energy demand. Hydro-electricity is mainly supplied and distributed by the state owned Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO).  There is massive potential for private sector investment in hydroelectricity power generation, transmission and distribution, and supply of petroleum products, including bio-fuels.


The Energy Regulations Board is responsible for issuance of licenses in the energy sector. Applications for energy licenses should be supported by the following documents:

·  Five year business plan

·  Current and latest audited financial statements

·  Details of any expected subsequent substantial capital outflows including major decommissioning costs

·  Estimates of net annual cash flows


Health

Government and private hospitals and clinics provide health care. The private hospitals have earned a reputation as providers of good quality health care. Major surgery cases are usually referred to the Republic of South Africa. Investment opportunities for establishing specialized hospitals to treat such referral cases are, therefore, unexploited. Flying doctor services cover remote areas and provide immediate care and transport for urgent cases. 


Telecommunications

Zambia has access to the west coast Sat-3 cable to Europe via a fiber link with Namibia, which in turn links with the South African fibre network, reaching Cape Town. Currently three companies, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) and the Zambia Telecommunications Company (ZAMTEL) are licensed to operate optic fibre networks, and there are three (3) mobile telephone services namely Airtel Zambia, MTN and Zamtel.


The Zambia Information Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), a regulatory agency under the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supplyand Communications, is responsible for issuance of Radio or Telecommunication licenses. Applications for the licenses should be supported by the following documents:

·  Certificate of Incorporation

·  Business Plan

·  Detailed description of the nature of the service, if not indicated in the business plan

·  Audited Accounts

·  Return on allotment shares

·  Bank reference letter


Railway, Roads and Aviation Infrastructure

Rail network remains the dominant mode of transportation (83.4%) for goods on the local and international routes. Major rail line links Zambia with Tanzania, is jointly owned by the Zambian and Tanzanian governments and is run by Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA). The Chipata-Mchinji Railway was constructed to link Zambia to the Nacara Corridor. Furthermore there are more than 130 airfields, of which one third are Government-owned while the rest are privately owned. The Kenneth Kaunda and Harry Nkumbula International Airports are Zambia’s main airports connecting the country with the region and the rest of the world. The smaller airports include Ndola, on the Copperbelt province and Mfuwe, in the Luangwa National Park.

As a major global copper producer, Zambia relies heavily on its road network to ship mine inputs and exports overseas through its eight neighboring countries. Zambia’s neighbors also heavily use Zambian roads to provide a reliable and shorter path to African ports. Trade Corridors are therefore vital to sustaining Zambia’s economic activity.  The following are the corridors; The Southern Corridor links Zambia to the Durban Port in South Africa; The Walvis Bay Corridor connects Zambia to the Port of Walvis Bay in Namibia; Zambia is linked to Mozambique through three corridors: The Maputo Corridor to the Port of Maputo; the Beira Corridor to Beira and the Nacala Corridor to Nacara; Finally, the Tazara Corridor connects Zambia to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 


LUAPULA PROVINCE

The province is sub divided into eleven (11) administrative districts namely: Milenge, Chipili, Chembe, Samfya, Mansa, Mwense, Kawambwa, Nchelenge, Mwansabombwe, Lunga and Chienge. With Mansa being the provincial headquarters. All other districts, with the exceptions of Milenge, Chipili, and Chienge Districts are linked by tarred roads. Lunga District in the wet lands is accessed by boats. The province also boast of a good communication network as most of the districts are serviced by all the three mobile net providers, MTN, Airtel and Zamtel.

Mining

Luapula has enormous reserves of copper ore deposits and several other mineral deposits. With the privatization of the mining sector, potential opportunities have become attractive. Metals \available include Copper, iron, Manganese, Gemstones, Silver, Gold, Rubby, Emerald, Green Tourmaline, Blue Sky among others. These minerals are available in every district in the province. Mining currently takes place but at a small scale level which requires joint ventures with companies with machinery in order to increase the extraction rate of these minerals from the ground.

The province also boasts huge reserves of mostly base metals, as well as semi-precious minerals. Luapula has enormous reserves of copper ore deposits and several other mineral deposits. Among the prominent minerals in the areas are copper, iron, gemstones, silver, gold, iron, ruby, emerald, green tourmaline, blue sky among others while manganese seems to be trailblazing the growth of the mining sector in the region. Already, Luapula Base Metals Limited and Genesis Group of Companies, two local Zambian companies have jointly invested US $3 million to develop 3 manganese mines in north-eastern Zambia with a projected annual output of 60,000 tonnes and boost exports to its main market of China.


Agriculture

cassava

Cassava is one of the major crops grown in the province. The province is able to produce about 65,000 metric tons annually. Cassava is used for cooking Nshima at household level, used for making stock feed, plywood, particle boards and glue. Investor interested in growing or processing the crop are still assured of abundant land and ready market for both the cassava chips and the final product. The government through the Food Security Pack programme has set up a milling plant in Mansa and government is ready to partner with private investors to make it more viable.

Animal feed: there is rapidly demand for cassava pellets for the use of animal feed as it provides many a lot of calories to animals. Cassava pellets are easier to transport and pack and easier for animals to consume than whole cassava.

Ethanol: ethanol is produced by fermenting and distilling cassava. Ethanol has various industrial uses: it can be mixed with petrol or used on its own as a transport fuel. It can be mixed with petrol or used on its own as a transport fuel. It can also be used as a base for alcoholic beverages. Lastly, ethanol can be utilized as industrial alcohol which is important in the pharmaceuticals and cosmetic industry.

Flour: cassava flour offers several benefits: it is completely gluten-free and can be used as a substitute for wheat flour and Starch: cassava starch can be extracted from cassava roots to form which are used by the food industry, but is also used by the paper and textile industry, as well as an adhesive in glass, mineral wool and clay.


Tourism

Lumangwe Falls

The province is a preserve for tourism. Its keys features for tourist attraction are the Samfya Beach, Bangweulu swamps, the eight waterfalls, Lusenga Plains National Park, and traditional ceremonies like the Mutomboko.

Value Chain Based Clusters

1. Nuchelenge - Fish

2. Mansa - Soybeans

3. Mwense - Palm Oil


SOUTHERN PROVINCE

Southern Province is one of Zambia's ten provinces, and home to Zambia's premier tourist attraction, Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls), shared with Zimbabwe. The centre of the province, the Southern Plateau, has the largest area of commercial farmland of any Zambian province, and produces most of the maize crop.

The Zambezi River is the province's southern border, and Lake Kariba, formed by the Kariba Dam, lies along the province's south-eastern edge. The eastern border is the Kariba Gorge and Zambezi, and the north-east border is the Kafue River and its gorge, dividing it from Lusaka Province. The Kafue Flats lie mostly within the province's northern border with Central Province. In the north west lies part of the famous Kafue National Park, the largest in Zambia, and the lake formed by the Itezhi-Tezhi Dam. The south-western border with Western Province runs through the teak forests around Mulobezi which once supported a commercial timber industry and for which the Mulobezi Railway was built.

The provincial capital is Choma. Until 2011 the provincial capital was Livingstone City. The Batonga are the largest ethnic group in the Province. A rail line and the Lusaka-Livingstone road forms the principal transport axis of the province, running through its centre and its farming towns: Kalomo, Choma, Pemba, Monze, and Mazabuka. In addition to maize, other commercially important activities include sugar cane plantations at the edge of the Kafue Flats, and cattle ranching.

Southern Province has the only large source of fossil fuel in Zambia, the Maamba coal mine in the Zambezi valley, served by a branch line of the railway.


Agriculture is the primary economic activity in Southern Province with a mix of small holder and commercial maize farms across the province. Compared to other major agricultural regions, such as Eastern Province, Southern Province has more abundant land and access to water, but receives less rainfall. Southern Province is also home to the "Sweetest Town in Zambia", Mazabuka, where sugarcane farming and sugar processing are a major business. The total area of crops planted during the year 2014 in the province was 360,160.32 hectares which constituted 18.98% of the total area cultivated in Zambia. The net production stood at 688,122 metric tonnes, which formed 16.89% of the total agricultural production in the country. Sorghum was the major crop in the province with 4,695 metric tonnes, constituting 40.62% of the national output.

Mazabuka grows 90% of sugar grown in Zambia with an estimated 430 tons produced annually. Sugarcane fields in Mazabuka are among the most productive in the world by hectare and low production costs allow production to compete on international markets. Around 60% of sugar is exported to Europe and other markets. However, the export industry is limited due to high transport costs linking processed sugar to export markets. Nationally, the sugar industry in Mazabuka contributes to around 4% of GDP each year.

The sugar industry in Mazabuka made international news in 2013 when it was discovered that Zambia Sugar, the biggest sugar company in the country, had paid nothing in corporate taxes to Zambia in the previous 5 years.

Southern Province and Eastern Province are the two primary breadbaskets of Zambia. Southern Province produces more than 600,000 metric tons of maize each year from a combination of commercial, which are unique to Southern Province, and smallholder farms.Despite poor rains in recent years and a strong El Nino weather cycle in 2016, Zambian maize output has been predicted to continue to grow.Growth in Southern Province and across the country has allowed Zambia to remain a net-exporter of maize to food insecure neighboring countries, such as Zimbabwe and Malawi which have been hit more severely by the weather.


Value Chain Based Clusters

1. Choma - Dairy

2. Namwala - Beef

3. Siavonga - Fish


EASTERN PROVINCE

Eastern Province is one of Zambia's ten provinces. The province lies between the Luangwa River and borders with Malawi to the east and Mozambique to the south, from Isoka in the northeast to the north of Luangwa in the south.The provincial capital is Chipata. Eastern province has an area of 51,476 km2 (19,875 sq mi), locally shares border with three other provinces of the country and is divided into eleven districts.

As per the 2010 Zambian census, Eastern Province had a population of 1,592,661, accounting to 12.16% of the total Zambian population. The sex ratio was 1,030 for every 1,000 males. As of 2010, Chewa was the largest community in the region with 39.7 per cent of the total population and Chewa was the most widely spoken language with 34.6 per cent speaking it. On the tourism front, the province has four national parks, while the Nc'wala festival celebrated in Chipata District by the Ngoni tribe during February is the most prominent festival in the province. Agriculture is the major occupation in the province which accounts for 20.41 per cent of the total area cultivated in Zambia. The province accounted for 19.61 per cent of the total agricultural production in the country with sunflower being the major crop. Chipata Airport and Mfuwe Airport are the two airports in the province.


The Luangwa Valley in Eastern Province has one of the best managed wild life areas in Zambia. South Luangwa National Park (although most of it lies outside the province, its management and the only public road access is from the province), North Luangwa National Park in Northern Province, Luambe National Park and Lukusuzi National Park are the major national parks in Eastern province. Game management areas cover most of the Luangwa Valley outside the national parks, and many animals migrate through the Province between the valley and game reserves in the highlands of neighbouring Malawi.

The Nc'wala festival celebrated in Chipata District by Ngoni tribe during February, Kulamba festival celebrated in Katete District by Chewa tribe during August, Kulonga festival celebrated in Lundazi District by Tumbuka tribe during August, Malaila festival celebrated in Mambwe District by Kunda tribe during October, Zengani festival celebrated in Lundazi District by Tumbuka tribe during October, Tuwimba festival celebrated in Petauke District by Nsenga tribe during October are the major festivals in the province. Kulamba Ceremony is the national gathering of Chewa in Zambia, Mosambique and Malawi. The Chewa chiefs pay homage to their king Kalonga Gawa Undi. Historically, the people petitioned to the king their troubles, while in modern times the chieftains inform their issues to the government. The festival originated during the 15th century. N'cwala is the annual gathering of the Ngoni tribe and is also dubbed as first fruits ceremony. It is held during the last week of February to the first week of March for three days. The members of the tribe and onlookers attend the event in thousands and arrive at Mutenguleni villages near the city of Chipata.


Value Chain Based Clusters

1. Mambwe - Rice
2. Chipata - Dairy
3. Petauke - Groundnuts

MUCHINGA PROVINCE

Muchinga Province is one of the ten provinces of Zambia. It is located in the northeast of the country and borders with Tanzania in the north, Malawi in the east, Eastern Province in the south, Central Province in the southwest, Luapula Province in the west, and Northern Province in the northwest. The administrative center of the province is Chinsali. The name of the province originates from the Muchinga Escarpment, on which it predominantly sits.

The TAZARA Railway, which connects Kapiri Mposhi and eventually Lusaka with Tanzania crosses the province from southwest to northeast.A road connecting Kapiri Mposhi and eventually Lusaka with Tanzania (The T2 Route) runs through the province, passing Mpika and Isoka (and bypassing Chinsali) (Known as the Great North Road). In Mpika, another major road branches north to Kasama. Chama is connected with Lusaka by a different road which follows the Luangwa River and passes Petauke and Nyimba, connecting to the Great East Road.


The creation of a province was announced by President Michael Sata in October 2011.[2] In November 2011, the president appointed Malozo Sichone as Muchinga Province Minister. The parliament approved the creation of the province at some later date.

The province consisted originally of five districts. Chama District was transferred from the Eastern Province, and the Chinsali, Isoca, Mpika, and Nakonde Districts were transferred from the Northern Province. In 2013, Mafinga District was created[5] by splitting Isoka District and Shiwang'andu District was created by splitting Chinsali District bringing the total number of districts to seven.


Value Chain Based Clusters

1. Mpika - Dairy 
2. Isoka - Soybeans
3. Chinsali - Soybeans

NORTHERN PROVINCE

Northern Province is one of Zambia's ten provinces. It covers approximately one sixth of Zambia in land area. The provincial capital is Kasama. The province is made up of 8 districts, namely Kasama (the provincial capital), Chilubi, Kaputa, Luwingu, Mbala, Mporokoso, Mpulungu and Mungwi. Currently, only Kasama and Mbala have attained municipal council status, while the rest are still district councils. It is widely considered to be the heartland of the Bemba, one of the largest tribes in Zambia.

Since this article was published the new Muchinga Province has taken the Eastern districts of Northern Province and Chama district to form Zambia's tenth province.

Notable landmarks in Northern Province include Lake Tanganyika, Lake Bangweulu, and the corresponding wetlands, Lake Mweru-wa-Ntipa, and a number of waterfalls including Lumangwe Falls, Kabwelume Falls, Chishimba and Kalambo Falls.

Efforts are being made by the Zambian government, along with a number of non-governmental organizations, to increase the visibility of the many natural and historical treasures in the Northern Province. Tourism has proven an effective way to bring economic growth in other parts of Zambia, i.e. Livingstone and Victoria Falls. However, a lack of infrastructure along the vast distances between major points of interest makes visiting this part of the country difficult.

Northern Province, with a total area of 77,650 square kilometers, shares borders with two other provinces - Muchinga and Luapula, and also with two countries - the Democratic Republic of Congo in the north and Tanzania in the north-east.


What investors think

Investors say that Zambia is a good destination for investment since it is stable, peaceful, has a lot of potential in several sectors. Most investors commend the friendliness of the people. However, since the country is vast, there is need for better infrastructure such as roads, rail, telecommunication in the rural areas to enable investors especially in the tourism sector to be competitive. 

Why invest in Zambia?


  • Zambia stands out as one of the prime tourism destinations in Africa offering a wealth of natural tourism assets – waterfalls, lakes and rivers holding about 35% of Southern Africa’s water, ‘wildlife protected areas’ occupying about 10% of the country’s total land area, and a tropical climate.It is also the home of the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. 
  • In addition, Zambia is endowed with a rich and diverse culture resulting in the occurrence of more than 30 colourful traditional ceremonies annually.
  • Zambia has vast resource endowment in terms of land, labour and water, indicating the high potential to expand and/or excel development. 
  • Private Investment is a top priority by the Government.
  • Over 10 years of steady GDP growth.
  • Being a member of a number of regional and international groupings, make Zambia strategic both in its location and abundance in natural resource. These include the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which is currently a customs union, and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Areas (FTA).
  • Creation of world-class infrastructure in desgnated areas known as Multi Facility Economic Zones (MFEZ) to facilitate entry of businesses

Country data

Official name Zambia
Country area 752,618 km²
Population 17,094,130
Administrative regions 10 provinces
Currency Zambian Kwacha
Exchange Rate 1USD =9.8 ZMK
GDP per capita 1483.69 USD
Literacy rate age 15 and over read and write English total population: 63.4% male: 70.9% female: 56% (2015 est.)
Fiscal year January 1st to December 31st
Weather pattern There are two main seasons, the rainy season (November to April) corresponding to summer, and the dry season (May to October/November), corresponding to winter. The dry season is subdivided into the cool dry season (May to August), and the hot dry season (September to October/November).
Transport Network Railways, roads and bridges, aerodromes, airports, inland waterways and maritime.
Business Hours Official business hours for Government are from 08:00 – 13:00 hours and 14:00-17:00 hours between Monday and Friday. Private Sector business hours vary, and may include weekends for service sector operators.
Natural Resources Official business hours for Government are from 08:00 – 13:00 hours and 14:00-17:00 hours between Monday and Friday. Private Sector business hours vary, and may include weekends for service sector operators.

ZAMBIA PROFILE

Country map

The Zambian Map

last update on: 21/8/2018