The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has launched the Mainstreaming Productivity, Occupational Safety and Health and Social Security in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) in the Informal Economy through Digital Inclusion project.
Minister of Labour and Social Security Brenda Tambatamba says the project is premised on the need to accelerate recovery and build resilience amongst informal economy entities as a response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mrs Tambatamba said the project will run up to the end of November 2021 and is aimed at creating knowledge sharing opportunities for actors in the sector to find the most effective and sustainable ways of supporting the informal enterprises.
She said the project will also link the informal economy to the labour market information system.
The minister further stated that suitable digital applications for delivering services to the informal economy will also be developed.
Mrs Tambatamba emphasized the importance that government attaches to the productivity improvement and technology advancement.
She said government will ensure that the recently launched national productivity policy is fully implemented as it provides pillars for the development of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises as well as for transitioning of the informal to the formal economy.
Speaking at the same event, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Secretary General Cosmas Mukuka said the project will address informality amongst MSMEs.
Mr Mukuka was hopeful that the project will deliver digital solutions to the informal MSMEs and link them to the Labour Market Information System.
Meanwhile ZCTU has appealed to government to ensure maximum collaboration with other ministries providing various services to enhance the welfare of operators in the informal economy.
And Zambia Federation of Employers Executive Director Harrington Chibanda said Micro-Enterprises have a vital role in the development of a nation by creating employment, encouraging entrepreneurship, balancing social income and educating the workforce.
Mr Chibanda stated that the project is a step in the right direction as it will transition the informal sector into full formalization through digitalization.