Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Development Elias Mubanga has welcomed stakeholders with intent to support government in the area of empowerment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s).
Mr Mubanga explained that the country has faced challenges with youth employment, thus organizations willing to partner with government through financial support, are essential.
Mr Mubanga was speaking when Zambia’s Ambassador to France Christine Kaseba and her French counterpart Francois Golgblatt, in the company of a French firm PROPARCO and Agency Francaise Development (AFD) officials paid a courtesy call on the Minister.
The Minister, disclosed that the idea to establish the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises Development was aimed at enhancing SME development.
He told the entourage that the country’s economic status has not been performing very well in the past years, hence the partnership with investors will result in economic growth for Zambia.
“This Ministry has been created to lay out a conducive environment for existing SME’s to grow and further incubate the start-ups resulting in economic development,” Mr Mubanga stated.
He said that government has given confidence to many Zambians to venture into business due to the leadership direction.
The Minister therefore commended PROPARCO Group agency and AFD for choosing to invest in Zambia with financial support, among other programmes.
PROPARCO Senior Investment Officer Steven Gardon explained that his organization is involved in guarantees and equity investment for private companies among others.
Mr Gardon explained that PROPARCO provides finance and support in the development of renewable energy and SME’s development.
He listed a number of projects implemented in Zambia including the Itezhi-Tezhi Power Corporation (ITPC) energy project in Itezhi-tezhi and has also been working with financial institutions to address SME financing.
He revealed that his organization relies on financial institutions to support smaller projects or companies such as SME’s for equity investments.
Mr Gardon said the company has strong ambitions for Zambia in the area of business in an effort to kick off the COVID-19 challenges, through support to SME’s.
And Zambia’s Ambassador to France Christine Kaseba is happy that the French companies are eager to invest in the country.
Dr Kaseba noted that the new dawn government is trying to fix the country’s economy as evidenced by the good will that has been demonstrated.
Dr Kaseba expressed confidence in the French President Emmanuel Macron’s will to grow the African continent and mobilize finances for economic growth.