Exclusive interview with ZimTrade, the organiser of the Zimbabwe country pavilion that is returning for the third year in a row to exhibit at DRC Mining Week in Lubumbashi in October.

Welcome back to DRC Mining Week! Which companies were part of your pavilion and how was the experience at the event last year?

Thank you so much, we always look forward to the event as it helps in the building of strong economic relations between Zimbabwe and DRC.

Last year we had Zimbabwean companies that manufacture high quality and durable mining consumables, industrial safety solutions, valves, water pipes, building materials and ICT solutions for the mining industry. We were excited with the level of interest by Congolese businesses on our products and as a result, we have decided to take up more space for our companies.

Can share with us who you will be bringing this year?

This year we have taken up more space and we are planning to increase the number of companies by 50%. We are still in the preliminary stages but indications are that we will bring Zimbabwean suppliers of mining consumables such as crushers, rollers, hammers among other as well companies that produces industrial safety solutions, energy and ICT solutions.

Any success stories since your participation in 2018?

The interest generated in the previous event and the inquiries we continue to get from DRC are encouraging. This has demistifed the notion that some companies in Zimbabwe had in the past about this market, particularly that the DRC market is difficult to supply.

We have recorded an increase in the number of companies that have undertaken exploratory visits to Lubumbashi seeking business opportunities. Some of the Zimbabwean companies have since opened branches in the Katanga province. To consolidate these achievements, we are organising an Outward Trade Mission to Lubumbashi in the second half of this year. The Mission which will cover all the sectors of the economy and is a platform for Congolese and Zimbabwean business people to discuss areas of mutual interests 

What products or projects will the ZimTrade pavilion display at the event in Lubumbashi this year?

The Zimbabwean pavilion will, this year, showcase a variety of locally produced products which includes; jaw crushers, rollers, conveyor belts, electricity transformers and cables, engineering solutions, industrial safety equipment, instrumentation services, boiler serving, irrigation equipment and water management systems among other products

What makes the mining sector in the DRC exciting for Zimbabwean companies?

DRC produces more than 3% of the world’s copper and half of its cobalt, most of which comes from Katanga region. Moreover, the mining sector in the Katanga region is composed of both large-scale mining firms and the small artisanal mining operations (ASSM). The huge mining activities require more supplies, which Zimbabwean companies are able to supply.

Zimbabwean exporters of mining consumables, engineering and safety solutions are looking forward to doing business with both small and large-scale miners in the Katanga region. DRC, which is a member of SADC and borders five EAC countries, also serves as a gateway into East Africa giving Zimbabwean companies an opportunity to expand their business into countries such as Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda.

How important is DRC Mining Week as an annual forum for the mining sector in this region?

Our research shows that DRC Mining Week is the largest mining and industrial platform in DRC which brings together miners, suppliers of mining and industrial supplies, international professionals, policymakers and other key stakeholders in the mining sector to explore and showcase products, services and innovative technologies. Over 5000 international professionals and stakeholders from more than 50 countries are expected to attend the fair giving Zimbabwean companies an opportunity to showcase their products to a very wide audience. It is among the key platforms focused on mining within the region, and is doing a great deal to promote regional trade.

What will be your message at DRC Mining Week this year?

Zimbabwe is a source of top quality products and services in Africa and beyond. We are inviting all visitors to come to the ZimTrade pavilion for B2B meetings with suppliers of high quality and affordable products from Zimbabwe. We carry the message of quality is king!

Anything you would like to add?

We are looking forward to a successful show. See you there!