Groundbreaking ceremony of the Chapula Polytechnic in Lufwanyama, funded by Kagem Mining Limited


The Minister of Technology and Science, Hon. Felix Mutati, MP, led the groundbreaking ceremony signalling the start of construction work for Chapula Polytechnic in Lufwanyama – Zambia’s first official polytechnic. The ceremony demonstrates Kagem Mining Limited (Kagem)’s commitment to fulfilment of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with the Government in September 2023, in which the mine committed to the construction of the centre at an estimated cost of ZMW 52.5 million (USD 2.5 million).

The centre will aim to provide local people from Lufwanyama and other areas surrounding the Kagem mine with training in a range of skills that aim to help them find employment, including at the mine, a key goal of the government’s Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP).

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Technology and Science Hon. Felix Mutati, MP relayed that government’s goal is to work with Kagem to deliver at Chapula the first Polytechnic in the Republic of Zambia: “Kagem has responded to the challenge by agreeing to invest USD 2.5m to construct and equip the polytechnic. We want to deliver a world class polytechnic from a leading gemstone mining company. We want the people of Lufwanyama to be proud again that they can contribute substantively to the delivery of skills not only here in Lufwanyama but also beyond Lufwanyama.”

Once completed, the centre will be under the administration of the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA), and will offer industry-standard curriculum-based courses to enable locals to acquire the necessary skills needed to improve their employability. With a curriculum being designed to align with industry demands, the Chapula Polytechnic will offer a diverse array of courses, with carpentry, plumbing, heavy earth moving machinery, computing and information technology (IT) skills training proposed.

“We are abandoning the current model, where we concentrate in one sector only. Our new model will be integrating agriculture, for example, with mining to work hand in hand to have an integrated process and an integrated development agenda,” said Honourable Mutati.

Kagem chairman Dr Sixtus Mulenga said “For Kagem, it is our honour and privilege to be an active member of the community here in Lufwanyama, and a long-term supporter of its growth and development. It is our hope and indeed our expectation that the Chapula Polytechnic will serve to enhance the skills base in the district as well as give rise to new opportunities for trade and industry within our communities.”

The Chapula Polytechnic demonstrates Kagem’s longstanding commitment to supporting regional and national economic development through community initiatives and programmes that aim to create successful and independent communities in its area of operation.

“With the Chapula Polytechnic, we hope to inspire youths in particular, encouraging them to expand their outlook on life and to grasp the opportunities for growth that are around them. The future of Zambia is in this generation’s hands and this training centre will play a part in upskilling them for prosperity,” said CV Suresh, Kagem’s Managing Director.

The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Technology and Science, Hon. Felix Mutati, MP, District Councillors; Council Secretary-Lufwanyama District; Council Chairperson-Lufwanyama; Lufwanyama District Commissioner, Kalulushi District Commisioner, Area Member of Parliament, His Royal Highness Chief Lumpuma of the Lamba Lima people, Kagem management and employees; industry peers; as well as members of the Chapula community and surrounding areas.

The Chapula Polytechnic construction project is due to be completed by the end of 2025.


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