The government and the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at enhancing sustainable development in Zambia through the provision of business development services.
Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development Permanent Secretary, Yvonne Mpundu said the MoU will strengthen the development, adoption and delivery of best practices for improving the attainment of SDGs in Zambia.
Ms. Mpundu said this during the signing ceremony between the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development and the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa in Lusaka yesterday.
She said the MoU and its actual implementation will give an opportunity that will provide a comprehensive approach to mitigate challenges faced by the Micro Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector in Zambia.
Ms. Mpundu underscored the government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for the success of the private sector through the signing of the MoU which she said is the beginning of a successful trajectory for MSMEs.
She said this will be achieved by fostering marketing linkages, business partnerships, capacity building, improved access to finance and information for MSMEs.
The Permanent Secretary stated that her ministry is working with the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa on four main pillars which include research analysis, policy development, partnership and financing of MSMEs, capacity building and establishing a robust management system.
“Research analysis and policy development are critical to the development of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) sector because they inform decision making and provide policy direction for the growth of the sector,” she said.
She further stated that capacity building is the core stepping stone towards building businesses and acceleration of entrepreneurship.
Ms. Mpundu further noted that the establishment of a robust management information system provides a platform aimed at accelerating access to information on real time pertaining to the MSME sector.
And Acting Director General for SDGC/A, Caroline Makasa, said small and medium enterprises are engines of economic development and play a key role in the attainment of economic transformation and increasing employment opportunities.
Ms. Makasa stated that SMEs face a number of challenges that limit their growth, some of which hinge on policy and regulatory environment.
She observed that the MoU provides a clear framework for the centre and the ministry to effectively collaborate when addressing some of these challenges that SMEs face in Zambia.
She further stated that the centre believes that the collaboration with the ministry will not only propel our ability to develop policies and regulations for small and medium enterprises development, but it will also ensure that SMEs are not left behind in the implementation of SDGs.