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President Hichilema Commends MSMEs, Vows Increased Support at Inaugural Awards Ceremony 

President Hakainde Hichilema has honored 44 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives from across Zambia during the inaugural Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) Presidential Awards ceremony.

Addressing the gathering in Lusaka, Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Development Elias Mubanga, representing the Head of State, reiterated the government’s dedication to revitalizing the economy through a robust private sector, primarily led by MSMEs.

“Since assuming office in 2021, the empowerment fund has seen a substantial increase, reaching K350 million in 2022, K398 million in 2023, and K397 million in 2024. This surge in funding is expected to reflect in improved accessibility of finance for MSMEs, leading to enhanced performance and increased job creation,” President Hichilema emphasized.

The awards ceremony, which honored enterprises from various sectors, highlighted their innovation, job creation, and growth over consecutive financial years, aligning with the administration’s economic development agenda through the MSME sector.

President Hichilema urged awardees to utilize the funds judiciously to further expand their businesses and strive for even greater achievements. He reassured them of continued government support, emphasizing the importance of sustainability and resilience.

In his remarks, the President reaffirmed the government’s commitment to fostering innovation, citing initiatives like the National Innovation Fund under the Ministry of Technology and Science.

Commending the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission for spearheading the awards, President Hichilema encouraged the commission to continue motivating and inspiring more MSMEs to participate, thereby fueling economic growth and job creation across the nation.

Over 100 MSMEs competed for the prestigious Presidential Awards, demonstrating the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit within Zambia.

Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission Board Chairperson, Mr. Jason Kazilimani, assured MSMEs of the commission’s unwavering support, recognizing their crucial role in the country’s production cycle and job creation. 

He pledged the commission’s commitment to addressing challenges such as access to finance and business infrastructure, further bolstering the MSME ecosystem in Zambia.

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