ZAMBIA – Zambian Breweries, subsidiary of the world’s largest brewer AB InBev, is seeking to invest US$80 million over the next 18 months, to double production capacity at its Lusaka plant.

The investment is set to unlock innovation opportunities within the beer category, see a reduced reliance on imports, as well as open up export options.

Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023, it is expected to create more direct and indirect jobs, expand the company’s agriculture out-grower schemes, offer further procurement opportunities for local suppliers and service providers, and contribute additional tax revenue to government.

The nation’s largest brewer revealed that the planned capital investment package was buoyed by the by the enabling investment and trade climate under Zambia’s New Dawn government.

“Zambian Breweries is proud to announce this major investment commitment to the Zambian economy. We are particularly pleased that we are forging an even closer partnership with the government of Zambia in support of its economic recovery and growth programme.

“This investment will not only enhance our production capacity but will also significantly contribute to the wider national economy,” said Zambian Breweries Country Director Michelle Kilpin.

Zambian Breweries supports local economy

Ms Kilpin further highlighted that the new investment was in addition to the company’s long-standing contribution to the Zambian economy over many years, with just under US$400 million spent on capital investment programmes in the last decade.

The capital expenditure has included the construction of a malting plant in the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) which was commissioned four years ago; upgrading of its Lusaka and Ndola plants with cutting-edge technology; and the replacement of bottles, kegs, and crates to increase brewing capacity and address beer shortages across the country.

In addition, a recent independent study by global consulting firm EY revealed that in 2019 alone, Zambian Breweries contributed K1.6 billion to government revenues.

In the same period, the maker of Mosi Lager generated K5.8 billion in output and K1 billion in GDP, creating 80,096 direct and indirect, jobs equivalent to K164 million worth of labour income.

During the ten-year period, Zambian Breweries has more than doubled its procurement, of cassava, from 4,000 metric tonnes in 2019/2020 to almost 5,000 metric tonnes in 2020/2021, which directly benefited over 6,000 households over the past 5 years in its project areas.

The brewery also managed to procure 2,300 metric tonnes of sorghum – positively impacting over 3,500 households.

This partnership with local farmers has opened up opportunities for financing, education, farming input supply, and technology support to thousands of small, medium, and large-scale maize, cassava, sorghum, and barley growers.

The company also continues to empower small-scale farmers with digital financial skills through its technology-based platform called BanQu.

By 2025, Zambian Breweries targets to skill, connect, and financially empower 100% of its direct farmers through the smart agriculture goal.

Meanwhile, the company is also empowering local transporters and distributors, investing K200 million in 2020.

Further, in line with the Global Responsible Sourcing Policy, Zambian Breweries looks at the entire value chain for opportunities to reduce costs, limit environmental impacts and improve economic stability among its suppliers and surrounding communities.

“This new investment of US$80 million is another demonstration of Zambian Breweries’ long-term commitment and contribution to Zambia. 

“We will continue to support efforts by the government to grow the economy through creation of employment opportunities, empowerment of local suppliers, distributors, retailers, farmers and entrepreneurs, and contributing to national revenues,” Zambian Breweries Chairperson Monica Musonda said.

In the words of AB InBev’s vision, Zambian Breweries looks forward to a future with more cheers.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE