Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Lack of Internet accessibility affecting small business growth


COMERCE Minister, Margaret Mwanakatwe, speaking during the first Eastern Province Symposium on development held at Protea Hotel in Chipata on Thursday. On her right is Luapula Province Minister, Nixon Chilangwa and on her left are Eastern Province Minister, Makebi Zulu and Agicultural Minister, Dora Siliya. PICTURE BY STEPHEN MUKOBEKO/ZANIS
FILE: COMERCE Minister, Margaret Mwanakatwe, speaking during the first Eastern Province Symposium on development held at Protea Hotel in Chipata on Thursday. On her right is Luapula Province Minister, Nixon Chilangwa and on her left are Eastern Province Minister, Makebi Zulu and Agicultural Minister, Dora Siliya. PICTURE BY STEPHEN MUKOBEKO/ZANIS
VARIOUS stakeholders in the private sector have cited the lack of internet accessibility and the adoption of the electronic platform in regulating businesses as being among challenges that are negatively impacting on the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The stakeholders included the Japan Tobacco International, British Chamber of Commerce, Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tourism Council of Zambia, Hitachi Construction Machinery Zambia Limited, Zambia Association of Manufacturers and the Zambia Chamber of Mines, among others.

The private sector participants observed that the under-utilisation of the online platform being provided by the Zambia Revenue Authority online platform, has failed to serve its intended purpose as access to internet has remained limited.

Recently, the British government, in partnership with the Business Regulatory Review Agency (BRRA), hosted a sensitisation workshop for various stakeholders dubbed, ‘Fostering increased private sector consultation for better regulations in the business environment,’ aimed at strengthening private sector participation in fiscal matters.

“The adoption of e-platform in regulating businesses had negatively affected the growth of SMEs. Furthermore, the literacy levels of the country were not at par with the full implementation of online services.

“Therefore, there is need for Government to reconsider the imposition of such regulations,” the stakeholders said.

The participants further resolved that there is need to openly discuss regulatory challenges that are affecting their respective sectors and communicate the issues to BRRA.

“Government needed to focus more on business regulation and not revenue collection. Both Government and the private sector needed to work together to improve the quality of regulations in the business environment,” the stakeholders said.

They also called on Government to streamline regulatory roles among regulators to avoid duplications, for instance where the Energy Regulation Board and National Council for Construction are regulating the development of the solar industry.

Earlier, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe said Government is committed to ensuring a conducive business regulatory environment to positively contribute to economic growth.

Mrs Mwanakatwe said BRRA will enforce good regulatory principles that are inclusive of stakeholder consultation and will further ensure that a regulatory impact assessment on proposed policies and regulations is conducted.


  1. Margaret Mwanakatwe should be ashamed of herself to mascaraed as minister when in fact not.
    Mwanakatwe’s MP seat was nullified by the courts after the Mrs Scott petitioned the Lusaka Central election results.
    She is simply breaching the constitution by her failure to follow simple rules & law.
    The speaker should not entertain Mwanakatwe & Nkandu Luo in parliament. The mp seats have been nullified & must not pretend to be ministers.
    The Skeleton Key

    • And on the SAME PAGE of LT there is an article “ZICTA directs ZESCO to disconnect all Illegal International Data Transit Operators”…..

      Do these clowns know what they are doing? Or will they just shoot themselves in their feet every day?

      It is hard to believe that Zambians still accept such incompetence and corruption! Are they happy having their future stolen right in front of their eyes? Or just blind?

      If there is a problem, it needs to be FIXED. Not just “CUT OFF” internet access! Are these PF clowns too dumb to understand such a simple concept?

  2. This woman is an illegal minister and lungu who claims to be a lawyer sees nothing wrong as long as she is sucking his little penis

  3. The corrupr weakness in State House knows no bounds.
    In any functioning Government, Mwanakatwe, Siliya, Kaiser, Leather faceMwila would be asked to stand down while investigations into their conduct /conflicts are resolved without governmental interference.
    Unfortunately we have a thieving Lawyer @ the helm, & things are conducted Back to Front, whilst The Godfather of Corruption is busy drinking, dancing, planning his next corrupt trip abroad, & shielding all his Corrupt lieutenants.

  4. How sad!! Even when she is speaking of real issues affecting small businesses, you people have to make it political. Why can’t you contribute positively? She is in office because the Judiciary has allowed her, who are you to judge her otherwise? Focus on issues that will develop the country and throw real ideas that conform to the topic not outdated Fred M’membe-post-state-capture tactics where a small band of criminals accuse, prosecute and judge innocent individuals in open air courts of the post newspaper-that era is gone!!!!! SHAME ON YOU.

  5. Instead we should be focusing on what makes Zambians lack access to internet eg tariffs are too high-why not pressure service providers to work on reducing the cost of internet so that eg. a carpenter from Chilulu can afford it and have access to better designs so we stop importing furniture??? internet also enable SMEs to world standard management skills which will go to grow their businesses and the economy. Let’s do better people, this country is for all of us regardless of tribe, party, region!!

    • How can pressure them when they invested to pull cables when you were sleeping…do you think you would reduce your produce if you didnt have competition?

  6. Silly woman her govt is only interested in wasting billions building overpriced roads instead of pulling cables from Angola, RSA, Nambia then retailing it to providers to encourage competitiin like in Kenya.

    • How many service providers do we have jay jay? I see it more of cartels coluding because they all charge the same price! Even Vodafone has fallen into the same trap. We need a situation like Dangote; If Dangote had yielded to cartelism the price of cement would be well above K120 right now. So you don’t have a point or idea you can put forward. As i said, everything to you is political:VERY SHALLOW, INDEED. If we approached issues objectively we would target our displeasure at these greedy cartels not government all the time.

  7. When we have spent billions on schools and universities throughout the country why are LITERACY skils not to par..
    Why does each minister use the phrases, committed to, , will review, have a committe of stakeholders address, we intend to,
    There is an old saying ” actions speak louder than words”

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