Legislating ZAM- Envisaged Benefits for Zambian Manufacturers

Legislating ZAM- Envisaged Benefits for Zambian Manufacturers

 

Zambia Association of Manufacturers has embarked on a lobby to legislate the Association and convert it from a sectoral association to self-regulating statutory body. Notably, the manufacturing sector plays an important role in boosting economic growth and employment both directly and indirectly.  To date the manufacturing sector in Zambia accounts for about 11% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and has been growing at an average annual growth rate of 3% in the last 5 years.[1]

With this in mind, it is important to note that the manufacturing sector in Zambia is still in its infancy stage. This coupled with a number of other challenges facing manufacturers including counterfeit products and lack of compliance to existing legislation governing the sector by a number of businesses; has had a drastic effect on the overall growth and performance of manufacturing industry in Zambia. The move to make ZAM an Act of Parliament therefore highlights the need to develop a legislative framework that guides and enhances the sector’s ability to self-regulate, develop and coordinate appropriate interventions to tackle its challenges, and to adhere to pieces of legislation concerned with Manufacturers.

The envisaged benefits of this move cannot be understated and include but are not limited to;

  1. Enhanced Access to Value Added Services – ZAM shall be better positioned to deliver value added services such as business linkages, capacity building/training and technical advice to a broader base of SME, medium, and large-scale manufacturers. This will serve to advance the value addition agenda in Zambia in line with the broad aspirations of Government in the Seventh National Development Plan, Vision 2030, amongst other key policy documents.
  2. Reduced Cost of Membership – Approval of the ZAM Bill will broaden the membership base of the Association and contribute to reducing the overall cost of membership for SMEs, medium and large firms. This will contribute to the development of a robust membership database that will enhance targeting of interventions aimed at supporting SMEs in the value addition space.
  3. Enhanced Policy Advocacy and Representation – Consolidation of the sector will make data and statistics on the manufacturing sector more accessible and available, contributing to more evidence-based policy advocacy anchored in broader consensus and a larger voice of Industry, in addition to enhancing the ability of stakeholders to make more informed investment decisions.

The Association is currently collaborating with the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC) to convert the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) into a self-regulatory body governed by an Act of Parliament to regulate manufacturing industry. The collaboration will undertake an extensive consultative process to ensure that the draft Bill is as responsive to the needs of the manufacturing sector, and other key stakeholders as possible. Once approved, it is anticipated that the ZAM ACT will work to address fragmentation in the manufacturing sector by pooling SME and large manufacturers under one self-regulating umbrella body, which will contribute more efficiently to realizing the country’s vision of becoming “a prosperous middle-income country by 2030”.