The Department for International Development (DfID) flagship on business programme, Private Enterprise Programme (PEP), says over K61 million has been set aside to facilitate and enhance local private enterprises’ capacities to create jobs and wealth in 2019.

And an indigenous online business opportunities portal, Zambia Business-to-Business (ZamB2B), has been launched with a view to increasing trade and linking big corporate institutions to small and medium enterprises.

PEP Zambia head of mining section Eric Miller said in an interview after the launch of an online platform ZamB2B that job and wealth creation was the only way to end poverty in Zambia.

“We’re talking about this current year spending over K61 million available to make [local content] strategy happen. We’re talking of quite a lot of money where we can facilitate companies and support them to get results, which are to create jobs and ending poverty,” Miller said.

He said PEP existed to alleviate poverty through job creation, adding that it would stimulate permanent enterprises, SMEs and build capacity so that they could create more jobs and end poverty in communities.

And North-Western Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mukumbi Kafuta said the Chamber sought a strengthened relationship with PEP Zambia to strengthen the local content implementation strategy.

“We believe that to sustain growth rates, create wealth, and reduce poverty, Zambia has to transform the current structure of its economic policies and regulatory framework to implement the integration of locally-available primary resources, goods and services in production processes,” Kafuta said.

During the launch of ZamB2B in Solwezi, Thursday evening, Kafuta explained that mining firms, chain stores and markets should be able to buy from Zambian companies, hence the need to champion local content development and market linkages.

The Chamber was constantly building a business community across sector interests and to foster a robust Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to ensure economic emancipation.

Kafuta explained that PEP Zambia could not have come at a better time than when interventions to help actualise government’s development objectives were being put in place.

He said the Chamber realised that formulation of effective economic policies and regulatory frameworks, which supported local businesses, was key to creating sustainable economic growth and cut poverty – Story courtesy of SUMA SYSTEMS.