Foreign dominance of contracts worrying
By BENNIE MUNDANDO WE are concerned that despite our efforts to empower local contractors, 80 percent of our contracts are still being done by foreign-owned companies which only account for 5 percent of the companies operating in Zambia, Government has said.
Housing and Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary, Charles Mushota said the trend needed concerted efforts to be rectified.
Mr Mushota was speaking when he opened the 2017 construction industry stakeholder consultative meeting in Lusaka over the weekend.
Mr. Mushota said while there was nothing wrong with foreign companies participating in Zambia as it provided an avenue for good stimulation of the competi- tion, capital, skills development and technology transfer, the contract uptake rate by the locals had become a source of concern.
“Whilst the presence of the foreign companies is good for the stimulation of the competitiveness, capital, skills development and technology transfer, Government has noted that more than 80 percent of the contracts continue to be executed by 5 percent foreign-owned companies.
“We need to put practical measures to enable us move to a level where our local contactors can take up a reasonable portion of the contracts regularly or in equal partnership with foreign contractors,” Mr. Mushota said.
He however noted that due to immense opportunities in the sector, there has been an increase in investment especially among small-scale enterprises.