The Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) has completed the construction of the Kafue Industrial Yard based at Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone.
Speaking during his familiarization visit to the Commission and the just completed Kafue Industrial yard, Minister of Small and Medium Size Enterprise Development, Elias Mubanga revealed that the industrial yard was designed to cater for medium size light manufacturing businesses to operate in workshops measuring 20 by 10 meters each.
Mr Mubanga told ZANIS in an interview that companies shortlisted to manufacture in the yard include businesses such as avocado oil extraction, manufacturing of block-making machines, metal fabrication, wood processing for furniture production, timber curing, auto mechanics and a restaurant among others.
He said this has brought the number of completed Industrial yards to seven out of eight in addition to Solwezi, Kasama, Kitwe, Ndola, Mongu and Chipata Industrial yards.
The Minister directed CEEC to ensure that the eighth industrial yard in Mansa was completed before the end of the year.
Mr Mubanga stated that the Kafue Industrial yard was particularly important because the industrial yard demonstrated an innovative way of facilitating the participation of local entrepreneurs.
And speaking during the same occasion, CEEC Director General Likando Mukumbuta statted that the operationalization of Chipata, Mongu and Kasama Industrial yards had already started after empowerment funds were made available to citizens.
The project is providing 20 million dollars to facilitate the construction of eight industrial yards in Kafue, Kitwe, Ndola, Solwezi, Mongu and MANSA, Kasama and Chipata districts.
Earlier, The Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Elias Mubanga has assured Zambians of the government’s support in growing the economy through a Multi-Sectoral approach that brings on board all economic players.
Mr. Mubanga said the government will commit to its promise of ensuring that it delivers to the Zambian people by including cooperatives among the major players of economic growth.
Speaking when the Zambia Cooperatives Federation (ZCF) paid a courtesy call on him, Mr. Mubanga said that his office is open to ideas that will bring about development and benefit citizens in all parts of the country.
He was happy that partners such as ZCF will play a major role in helping the government successfully implement growth among small and medium enterprises.
“The new dawn government is committed to ensuring it establishes relations with partners such as the Zambia Cooperatives Federation to implement growth in the small and medium enterprises and further create jobs for its people,” Mr. Mubanga stated.
He however appealed to ZCF to help the government inculcate a positive mindset for people to appreciate the value of cooperatives, correct mistakes of the past, and change the way things are done.
And ZCF Director-General, James Chirwa assured the government of the federation’s support in changing the narrative in the development of cooperatives.
Mr. Chirwa informed the Minister that the federation has in the past faced challenges that have affected its growth and successful execution of its mandate.
He said ZCF has for a long time advocated for the amendment of the Federations Act and the Policy on cooperatives.
He told the Minister that the federation has structures in all parts of the country and has embarked on progressive programs to ensure smooth operations of cooperatives.
Mr. Chirwa added that the ZCF would want to work with the government in advancing development through its structure and not to be used for political expediency.
He, however, appealed to the government to consider reviving and improving the Zambia Cooperative College situated in Lusaka.