Lusaka, Zambia – The SMEs Association Zambia Board has taken a decisive stand, advocating for the government’s active involvement in empowering its citizens through the exclusive reservation of certain businesses for Zambian citizens only. In a press release issued on August 22, 2023, Daimone Siulapwa, the Board Chairman, voiced concerns about the dominance of foreign players in Zambia’s economy and the urgent need to address this issue to stimulate local development and opportunities.
Highlighting the issue, Siulapwa emphasized that foreign players have gained undue control over key sectors of Zambia’s economy, primarily due to unfair competition, inadequacies in government policies, and lenient immigration regulations. This has led to a situation where foreign investments and players dominate while local citizens are marginalized, hindering the overall progress of the nation.
The SMEs Association Zambia’s campaign is centered on the idea that specific businesses should be exclusively reserved for Zambian citizens, irrespective of their background, tribe, color, or creed. The Association clarifies that “citizens” refer to all Zambians who hold citizenship and possess a green National Registration Card (NRC). The campaign aims to prioritize the interests of Zambian citizens in economic activities and ensure that their involvement and benefit are integral to any foreign investment.
Acknowledging the importance of foreign investments for development, the Association underscores that such investments must contribute positively to the nation’s growth and the well-being of its citizens. To this end, the government holds the responsibility to scrutinize foreign investments and prevent unfair competition that adversely affects local entrepreneurs.
The SMEs Association Zambia Board is convinced that until citizens actively participate in their country’s economy and take charge, Zambia’s progress will remain stagnant. Exclusively reserving certain businesses for Zambian citizens is seen as a crucial step towards economic development, job creation, and safeguarding the country’s interests. This approach ensures that citizens are not left behind in the pursuit of opportunities and provides a platform for sustainable growth.
In a nation like Zambia, where economic opportunities are limited, reserving some businesses exclusively for citizens can play a pivotal role in driving equitable growth. This move prevents foreign companies from dominating industries and reinforces the nation’s control over its own economic landscape.
With the campaign gaining momentum, the SMEs Association Zambia urges all concerned citizens, businesses, and associations affected by unfair foreign players to unite under their cause. The movement has already amassed significant support, with a membership of over one hundred and seventy-eight thousand individuals.
The time has come for Zambian citizens to reclaim control over their economy, drive its progress, and ensure that economic opportunities are harnessed for the benefit of all citizens.