The government has appealed to lending institutions to revise their borrowing conditions and make them favourable for small and medium businesses.
Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Elias Mubanga says he is aware that banks also have an obligation to achieve but that there is a need for the banks to partner with his ministry to come up with a better way of supporting small and medium businesses.
Mr Mubanga was speaking when he met a team from the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) at his office in Lusaka today.
Mr Mubanga lamented that one of the problems and challenges small and medium enterprises are faced with is lending conditions that banks have put for accessing loans.
“We know that you also have an obligation to achieve at the end of the day but we want to have a very good and mutual understanding partnership whereby we all agree for the betterment of our country because when these small and medium businesses succeed, then we will all succeed,” he stated.
And the Minister explained that the new administration has much interest in empowering small and medium businesses in rural areas.
Mr. Mubanga said the government desires to see that small and medium businesses in rural areas are equally taken care of especially youths and women regardless of where they are coming from.
“As we are starting like this, can we also look at the startups in the business, what policy the bank has, especially for those in the rural areas. If our concentration is only in urban areas then what about those in the villages,” Mr. Mubanga noted.
The Minister further stated that his ministry is also concentrating on cooperatives who are under the ministry.
Meanwhile, ZANACO Board Chairperson, Hastings Mtine noted that the financial institution has always been open to everyone wanting to get a loan regardless of the amount, which he said is the challenge the board has given to the bank.
ZANACO Chief Executive Officer Mukwandi Chibesakunda welcomed the policy direction of the ministry concerning the small and medium businesses.
Mrs. Chibesakunda said the bank has a number of initiatives for empowerment programmes adding that the bank is also working with partners to improve certain issues on the ground.