Mining & Business: Mr. Vice President, could you introduce yourself in a few words?
Éric RAMBELOSON: I am French. I have been in Zambia since 2001. I handled a big Zambian company for seven years. Then I went back to France and Madagascar. I came back in 2010 where again I took care of two companies, including a private hospital. I am now a consultant and I do business development.
MB: What exactly does the CCFZ represent? How many members?
ER: The Chamber was created last September. A first event was created in cooperation with the French Ambassador: Le Beaujolais nouveau. We have a board in which three major French companies are represented, namely Total, Lafarge and Bollore. The other four members of the board being individuals like me.
MB: Are you interested in collaborating with other Chambers of Commerce in the region, for example?
ER: Absolutely. It is hoped to work with the Chambers of Commerce of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. We will also work with the Chambers of Commerce here in Harare, the British and the Americans.
MB: The President of the Franco South African Chamber, Yves Guenon also gave us an interview. He plans to lead a delegation of French investors to the DRC Mining Week, which is the major event in June in Lubumbashi. Would you be interested in doing a “common pavilion” for example?
ER: Yes, absolutely! By June, we hope to have a number of members, including mining workers. And indeed, why not? We are very open to this type of event.
MB: Would you also be ready to go to Kinshasa for the French week later in June?
ER: Yes, why not. We’re all open-minded. Once again, the idea is to work on the Africa-South Africa region, including Congo, and to have partnerships with all the Chambers in the region.
MB: With your experience, what would be the sectors in which the Franco-Zambian Chamber of Commerce could operate in the DRC?
ER: In the DRC, I think, we could help Zambian companies to establish themselves in the DRC. Essentially, assistance to Zambian mining companies and subcontractors wishing to set up in the DRC.
MB: Is there anything else you want to share with us?
ER: Once again, the growth sector in Zambia today is mainly mining. This is a sector that has always been buoyant for 40 years. So is tourism. I think that tourism, the Zambian government, is doing its utmost to develop tourism to see synergies with other companies. So these are the main sectors and also the agri-food industry.
MB: Mr. Vice President, thank you.