The government has announced its commitment to aligning all Micro, Small, and Medium Business (MSME) and cooperative policies and legislation to foster the sustainable growth of enterprises within the country.
Elias Mubanga, Minister for Small and Medium Enterprise Development, emphasized that the government’s objective is to create a favorable business environment by harmonizing MSME and cooperative policies and legislation. This alignment aims to provide a conducive atmosphere for enterprises, ensuring their growth and success.
Mubanga highlighted the ministry’s focus on addressing three key areas for MSMEs and cooperatives: access to finance, market opportunities, and capacity building.
These interventions are designed to enhance outcomes and promote the growth and development of MSMEs and cooperatives, which collectively play a significant role in the country’s economy.
“MSMEs and cooperatives have a substantial stake in the nation’s economy,” Mubanga stated during the launch of the refurbished Entrepreneurs Financial Centre (EFC) Zambia Kalingalinga branch in Lusaka.
The Minister urged microfinance institutions to pursue affordable interest rates and simplified terms and conditions. Additionally, he encouraged the creation of strengthened networks and access platforms to enable all stakeholders to actively participate in the economy.
Chimuka Haamukwanza, Chairperson of the EFC Zambia Board of Directors, noted the institution’s evolution since its inception in 1994. EFC has continuously adapted to meet the evolving needs of MSMEs in the country and the broader financial landscape.
The implementation of a new and robust Core Banking System (CBS) is set to enhance client access to services conveniently.
Haamukwanza highlighted EFC’s role in promoting financial inclusion and extending services to underserved communities. Notably, EFC recently partnered with the Rural Financial Expansion Program (RUFEP) to offer financial products and services, including Dairy Value Chain Financing, to small-scale dairy farmers in Southern, Central, and Lusaka provinces.
EFC’s innovative approach also includes the Client Share Ownership Program, enabling clients to become partial owners of the business and fostering a client-centric proposition.
These initiatives signify a strong commitment to enhancing the growth and development of MSMEs and cooperatives while creating a more inclusive and accessible financial landscape for all.