Mon, 29 Jan 2018 15:08:59 +0000
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THE Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has announced that it has this year started implementing the Trade and Industrial Development Fund meant to provide cheaper financing to entrepreneurs.
ZDA has also announced that it is rolling out decentralisation to support investment ventures in rural areas.
ZDA Director for Enterprise Development, Mukula Makasa, said the agency was aware of the need for cheaper financing for local entrepreneurs such as the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), hence the operationalising of the fund.
Mr. Makasa emphasised that the fund would provide a combination of capacity building to cheaper financing.
“In terms of financing, we are in the process of implementing the Trade and Industrial Development Fund, this is an imperative measure,
“If businesses have to grow and graduate, they need some solid innovative medium to long term financing. Other countries have succeeded in this sector due to capital funds,” Mr. Makasa said.
Mr. Makasa disclosed this when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on National Economy focusing on MSMEs.
He also said ZDA had begun to decentralise with Eastern and Luapula provinces being the first ones.
“I am pleased to inform you that from this year, we are beginning to roll out in decentralisation, we will begin with Eastern, then move to Luapula then start spreading gradually,
“The other imperative for us to decentralise is that we do realise that development is about the whole country and not just Lusaka, after all the bulk of jobs in this country are provided by agriculture and so we need to go out there and support these industries including energy,” Mr Makasa said.
Meanwhile, newly appointed ZDA director general, Perry Mapani said the agency was having talks with cooperating partners to ensure that the decentralisation process was a success.
Mr. Mapani also said ZDA was reviewing its Act which would soon be presented to Parliament for approval.
“The Bill will be presented to Parliament this year, we have made strides in reviewing the Act and this is something that is going through stakeholders,” he said.