Conference: The Copper Value Chain

The conference will examine the role of Swiss companies in the copper value chain on the way from Zambia to China.

Zambia's foreign exchange income is 80 percent dependent on copper, which is mined by large international corporations such as First Quantum Minerals and Glencore. While Zambia is in a deepening debt crisis, the copper business is very profitable for the companies involved in the value chain.

The Zambian tax regime favours the large companies in the copper business, which pay hardly any tax and have to fulfil a few conditions, for example in the environmental sector. Zambia, for example, hardly benefits from its wealth of raw materials, but has to bear most of the costs of the major infrastructure projects through borrowing. Mine towns face serious environmental and health problems, precarious working conditions and social challenges.

The conference language is English.


  • 8.30 Registration and coffee
  • 9.00 Welcome 9.15 Switzerland’s Role in Zambia’s Copper Sector (Rita Kesselring, KEESA/University of Basel, Gregor Dobler, University of Freiburg)
  • 10.15 Coffee break 10.45 Life in Mufulira: the consequences of the global copper industry and local activism (Christopher Nkhata, Green & Justice, Mufulira)
  • 11.45 Politics, Indebtedness and Dependence on the Extractive Sector: the role of civil society (Laura Miti, Alliance for Community Action, Lusaka)
  • 12.45 Lunch
  • 14.00 Swiss regulatory systems on commodity trade: overview on political initiatives (KEESA) 
  • 15.00 Plenary debate between audience and speakers on demands and possible actions (facilitated by Ellen Hertz, University of Neuchâtel) 16.30 Closing

Registration until November 30th at The registration fee is 50 (25 for students). All details can be found in the flyer.