The country’s largest brewer says it is eager to partner with key stakeholders to increase youths’ contribution to national development
Zambian Breweries Plc has commended the newly elected UPND administration’s pledge to eradicate alcohol abuse in Zambia as part of its development and economic transformation agenda.
In his inauguration speech, His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema stated that his government would work to rescue the country’s youths from vices such as alcohol and substance abuse to improve their contribution to Zambia’s economic development.
AB InBev and Zambian Breweries are delighted with the Government’s desire to promote productivity and unity in local communities for an improved standard of living as this resonates with the brewery’s dream to bring people together for a better world.
Zambian Breweries Country Director Michelle Kilpin congratulated HE President Hakainde Hichilema on becoming Zambia’s 7th President adding that as one of the country’s leading manufacturers, the brewery was excited by his willingness to work with local manufacturers and other private sector organisations to drive the country’s economy forward.
“On behalf of AB InBev and Zambian Breweries, I wish to congratulate His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema and Her Honour the Vice-President Mrs Mutale Nalumango on their victory in the just-ended general election,” Ms Kilpin said.
“We are thrilled by His Excellency the President’s invitation to the local manufacturing industry and private sector in general to partner government in driving the country’s economic development through investment, local sourcing, employment creation, and youth empowerment among other things.”
She noted that the breweries’ investment over the years had been centered on value addition to help support national GDP growth through increased local production and export.
“The alcohol business’s value chain stretches across many industries including transport, tourism, arts, and commerce. Further, by sourcing raw materials such as sugar, maize, sorghum, barley, and cassava from local farmers, the company has helped stimulate a marked increase in job opportunities in the agricultural sector and associated industries resulting in secondary benefits for rural communities,” Ms Kilpin added.
“With proper investment, the sector could play a leading role in Zambia’s economic diversification drive and reduce our dependency on copper.”
“The question we must ask ourselves is how could we hope to attain our development goals if the country’s largest demographic – the youth – continue to stifle their productivity through alcohol and substance abuse? History has taught us that our national growth targets will remain out of reach if vices plaguing the youth are not addressed.”
“It is for this reason that one of Zambian Breweries’ growth pillars is centered on promoting responsible drinking among its clients while also sensitizing the public on the dangers of underage drinking. Our goal, as a responsible brewer is to build strong communities with a focus on sustainability both in terms of socio-economic development and youth empowerment.” Ms Kilpin said.
“However, it must be noted that the fight against alcohol abuse cannot be won by ZB alone but requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders – which makes the President’s pledge even more exciting.”
Zambian Breweries will be launching the 2021 iteration of its Smart Drinking campaign this September.