Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) CEO Mr Cornwell Muleya has spelled out the reform agenda for its subsidiaries aimed at improving their performance and contribution to the nation.
Mr Muleya was speaking recently when he toured Infratel Corporation Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary with significant interest in the Information and communications technology sector.
He said the IDC’s mandate for the coming year is to reform how it conducts business in various entities in its portfolio, which involves reviewing strategic plans and governance frameworks for long-term planning.
“We are at a stage where we have to rebalance the whole portfolio and improve our performance and contribution to the group and also to the nation,” he emphasized.
Mr Muleya said IDC will emphasize Governance Reform, ensuring that all subsidiaries have boards with skilled and competent individuals. This reform is inspired by successful models in countries like China and Singapore, which have successfully restructured their state-owned entities to optimize their contribution to economic growth.
He said the IDC will emphasize the importance of having competent management in its entities, with transparent recruitment processes. Performance management contracts and metrics will be developed to measure performance accurately.
Mr Muleya said a pressing issue the IDC faces is the funding and resourcing of its entities, stressing that many of them require new capital or funding to fulfill their potential. To address this challenge, he said, the IDC is exploring various measures, including seeking international financing and green finance structures. In some cases, dilution of shareholder stakes may be considered to facilitate recapitalization.
Mr Muleya added that the Corporation intends to bridge the gap between entities and their management, ensuring alignment of interests. Managers will be encouraged to realize that they are responsible for managing public resources that are expected to generate returns. Credible plans for the next five to 10 years will be expected from each entity, demonstrating their ability to run efficiently and contribute positively to the nation’s economic growth.
The IDC’s reform agenda extends to its group trading policy. The Corporation plans to prioritize trading internally within the group, stimulating economic growth by procuring goods and services from its own entities before looking elsewhere.
In addition, Mr Muleya said the IDC has set its sights on playing a more prominent role in stimulating the entire national economy by addressing legislative mechanisms in the 12 sectors it operates in.
Meanwhile, Infratel CEO Dr Evans Silavwe presented the company’s state of growth as well as its outlook, which envisions the company posting positive net income from 2025 onwards.
The company was created by IDC in 2018 with the mandate to consolidate, own, manage and commercialize all of the Government’s passive and sharable ICT and telecommunications Infrastructure. It owns and operates over 1,500 telecommunication towers, three Data Centres and offers cloud services, among other digital services.