Ken Dickson
Zambia 2050 - Church & Business Alleviating Poverty

Zambia 2050: challenging the status quo via business

In this article, Ken Dickson shows how economic challenges can be alleviated by churches and businesses working together. Using Zambia as an example, he outlines how one
organisation, Zambia 2050, is catalysing change to bring about its big vision of enhancing the wellbeing of the whole country. Their support includes Bible-based business training which they want to scale-up via online courses. The article ends with examples of how those with imaginative ideas, when supported by those with resources, can together effect change.

Zambia is a country rich in natural resources, notably in the Copperbelt region in the north-west of Zambia near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sadly, it is also one of the poorest countries in the world. Economic problems include subsistence living, a limited formal economy and a shortage of jobs – not helped by the recent lay-off of 3,800 workers at Mopani, a major copper mine. Such challenges have been further impacted by COVID-19 and the resultant general economic insecurity. With half the population of Zambia aged under 18 and a high proportion of street children, the country’s future looks uncertain. However, there is hope. It is clear from research that a major factor in relieving poverty is the establishment of financially sustainable businesses that provide employment and trading opportunities. Zambia 2050 seeks to do that. Its ambitious initiative is to develop entrepreneurs and provide business and leadership skills to boost the economic standing of Zambia, while helping to ease the burden of poverty. It does this by challenging people to ‘think differently and work together’ to improve Zambia’s economic, financial and community wellbeing.

Zambia 2050
Zambia 2050 is based in Zambia’s second most populous city, Kitwe, in Copperbelt Province. The driving force behind this church-based initiative is a remarkable man, Joseph Mwila, who founded it in 2015. With a doctorate in Materials Science from the University of Manchester and a background in large international businesses, Dr Mwila is a well-connected Christian pastor who works extensively across religious, political and economic divides for the wellbeing of the country. Joseph and his wife Lilly founded Dayspring Ministries International in 2002. Through this public benefit organisation, Joseph focuses on church planting, leadership development, education and economic enhancement, while Lilly runs two orphanages and several feeding stations for needy children. They are busy people, called by God. Dr Mwila is clear that if Zambia is to improve economically, change is needed in the quality of leadership throughout society, the quality of business education, and the approach to thinking and helping one another.

Based in Kitwe, but seeking to work across the country, Zambia 2050 is focused on raising the next generation of leaders as well as supporting would-be entrepreneurs, especially youngsters, to start businesses. In common with those in other sub-Saharan countries, many Zambians have the aptitude to initiate new ventures, but can lack the skills, tools, and training to succeed. As well as aiming for transformation through godly leaders in all sectors of society, Zambia 2050 encourages young businesspeople via mentoring by seasoned entrepreneurs. Since the initiative is church-based, mentees are in effect discipled in spiritual matters as well as equipped for business. Zambia 2050 has already provided support and encouragement via a nationwide Business Plan Competition, an annual conference and my own four-day business course. It is now rolling out other initiatives. 

Appropriate support for entrepreneurs...
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About the Author
Ken Dickson founded Axiom-e Limited ( through which he works as “The Financial Director”. Via international talks and courses, which emphasis Bible-based principles for business, Ken equips the next generation of entrepreneurs in the UK and Africa to benefit their communities.