Insights from the ground on operations during Covid-19

“The DRC’s success in containing Ebola greatly helped the country with the current pandemic as the two outbreaks present significant similarities. The measures that were initially put in place to counter Ebola, mainly handwashing and social distancing, played an important role in the fight against Covid-19.”

Marie-Claire Yaya, CEO, ITM Holding

“The fall in mining production has not been as severe as anticipated as the copper and cobalt prices rebounded and stabilised rapidly. Nonetheless, service based sectors such as logistics were greatly impacted due to the imposition of global lockdowns and closures.”

Lysa Munkeni, Founder and Managing Partner, Altys Partners

“Sectors that rely on the movement of people such as transport and tourism have been badly hit. The mining industry, which contributes 40% to the DRC’s GDP, was somewhat immune to the pandemic relative to other industries. Mining companies took the necessary measures to be able to continue production safely, and global commodity prices have remained broadly supportive.”

Yannick Mbiya Ngandu, Director, Trust Merchant Bank (TMB)

"What may come as a surprise to many is that 2020 was great for our business. Covid-19 drove us to implement various strategies, including the acquisition of two major mining groups, each made of three to four companies. Numbers-wise, we over-performed, and our portfolio of clients increased by over 20% compared to 2019."

Arlette Mboyo Rutaha, Regional Head, Akili Consulting

“The DRC’s geo-economics differs to that of Western Europe and Northern America in terms of GDP per capita and poverty. There was a huge risk associated with forcing lockdowns which I believe the authority in the DRC dealt with responsibly, especially in Kinshasa as they removed the restrictions before things could get worse.”

Patrick Katayi, Managing Director, G4S DRC

“Protection measures have been implemented in our offices and operational mines in order to assure our employees’ safety. Unlike other employers, we did not reduce our workforce during this period, which is our greatest accomplishment. Instead, we embraced remote work, influencing on our company’s dynamic.”

Dr. Benedito Paulo Manuel, Director General, Sociedade Mineira de Catoca Lda

“Contrary to most parts of the world, production in Zambian mines was not impacted due to the pandemic, in fact it increased. The industry was affected indirectly through external delays in the delivery of equipment from abroad, but not due to internal changes. Our mines continue to operate under strict Covid-19 guidelines.”

Mabvuto Chipata, CEO, ZCCM-IH

“COVID-19 impacted our immediate project pipeline as several projects were placed on hold due to the uncertainty that the pandemic brought about in terms of economic recovery. Fortunately, the copper price rebounded lately and is showing signs to remain firm.”

Stefan Engelbrecht, Managing Director, Tulela Group

“Covid-19 has not greatly impacted Zambia. For example, on 16 November new cases did not exceed 16 out of 6,129 tests. The company has not experienced any significant disruption to supply chains and product shipments since the onset of the pandemic."

John Gladston, Government Affairs Manager, First Quantum Minerals